The Crow Bar
Wrought iron birdcages, fauna and baroque-style chandeliers hang from the ceiling of this moody venue in Burlington Street. The side entrance can be as tricky to find as a perch at the window when it’s busy. It’s by John Cantle, his wife Tracey and her sister, Kerry, who are represented as the three crows in the bar’s logo. Having initially forged a successful hospitality business in Auckland with seven venues, the trio came to Australia to bring some Kiwi flair to the lower north shore with this slick wine bar.
There’s an air of sophistication here. The rear of the venue features a beautiful indoor fireplace. On the menu you’ll find a sleek selection of cocktails including the Merry Magpie (Hendricks rosemary and cucumber infused gin, elderflower liquor, fresh apple, cucumber and lemon). The hard-to-find rose-gold Astrolabe Beacon Hill Rosé is a standout, as is the extensive whiskey selection, with tipples from Japan, Islay and Taiwan. For snacks, try the deep-fried polenta wedges or beer-battered fries with American-style mayonnaise. You’ll also find pork crackling served on its own, green beans with feta cheese and pine nuts as well as bigger bites including barbeque ribs, chicken sliders and fish tacos. Ideal for mid-week drinks or a discreet date.