The bad news is that Dumplings & Beer in Potts Point is no longer. The good news is what’s taking its place in the petite two-level space on Ward Avenue: Caravin, a European-inspired wine bar from the team behind Bar Suze in Surry Hills. Here, owners Greg Bampton and Phil Stenvall will shift their gaze from the Scandi of Bar Suze to French, with an international and Aussie wine list, and plenty going on in the food department.
“We’re inspired by places in Paris like Chateaubriand, with their hyperseasonal focus on produce, and Vivant with their approach to fun and interesting wines being paired with elegant and fine dishes,” Brampton tells Broadsheet. “These places excite us as they tend to step away from the traditional wine bar focus of ‘snacks’ and blur the lines between wine bar and restaurant by turning out small plates that are complete dishes themselves.”
Chef Stenvall’s menu will “lean Parisian”, according to Brampton, but won’t be restricted to one specific cuisine. It’ll rest more on what produce is at its best on any given day. In the lead up to the 30-seater’s launch in August, Stenvall is experimenting with dishes such as mussels mignonette, Wagyu with pomme mille-feuille, Comté soufflé, and mousse with whipped mezcal.
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Caravin’s opening isn’t the only big news coming from the team. On July 7, it’ll relaunch Bar Suze – which opened in 2021 – as BS Pasta Palace, a “no-nonsense” American-Italian-style pasta joint with a few snacks. Before that happens, Stenvall and Brampton are packing the Bar Suze menu with fan favourites.
“We’re thinking we may as well go all-out with the Scandinavian influence across the menu for the last couple of weeks, so [expect] classics like toast skagen [shrimp toast], hasselbacks with accoutrements, lots of smoked seafood, and Phil might even dust off his old meatball recipe,” says Brampton.
For a last Bar Suze hurrah, it’ll host a “midsommar” street party on July 2, with Nordic snacks, DJs and wine.
Caravin will open in August. Bar Suze will become BS Pasta Palace on July 7.