What’s on around town
• One-litre take-home squealers of wine have hit The Erko and The Abercrombie (and its next-door wine bar Lil Sis). Together with Alpha Box & Dice, the Solotel pubs are filling bottles with pinot grigio, rosé or grenache (or a skin-contact at the Abercrombie) – straight from the tap – for just $25.

• Clovelly Road’s Cut Lunch Deli has launched a party-ready catering menu just in time for any last-minute EOY plans. There are DIY prawn rolls (with prawns peeled and ready); picnic platters with blobs of burrata; sandwich boxes; and more.

Strand Bistrotheque – on the ground floor of The Strand Hotel – is spritzing up weekdays with dollar oysters. From 4pm till 5.30pm, slurp the bargain bivalves alongside cocktail specials, pints at schooey prices and snacky plates.

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• Head to The Ace’s lobby lounge for a cheesy party hosted by the Studd siblings. The fromage-loving duo are celebrating the release of their book with a 35-kilo wheel of Comté emblazoned with their faces – which will be served up till it’s all gone. There are drag performers, a selection of Will Studd cheeses and DJ Chela on the decks from 6.30pm.

• Surry Hills fine diner Nel is getting in the Christmas spirit with a sprawling 11-course festive menu. The artful Story of Christmas menu is available for sittings until Saturday December 23. Bookings essential.

• Head to Bones Ramen in Rushcutters Bay on Sundays in December for a warming bowl from a guest chef. The Charles Grand Brasserie’s Billy Hannigan is cooking on Sunday December 10, with the Bones snack list and drinks by Dulcie’s as support.

• Christopher Thé, founder of Black Star Pastry and Stanmore cake shop and cafe Hearthe, has unveiled The Unforgettable Cake. The spectacular, many-layered cake mixes ingredients that have been shown to improve cognition – like antioxidant-rich strawberry gum – to highlight the issue of cognitive decline in elderly Aussies. Grab a slice from Hearthe and a portion will be donated to Meals on Wheels.

• Potts Point brasserie Franca ramps up Friday festivities with caviar bumps and mini Martinis – on the house. With every half-serve of fruits de mer, four short Martinis and 10 grams of caviar will hit the table too.

Yum things by cool people
• This week Nonna’s Grocer launches its most-coveted candle yet: a punnet of mixed berries. They’re cute, they’ll likely burn for a matter of moments, and the Broadsheet office is obsessed. The dream scenario for the sweeties? On top of a birthday cake.

• A favoured, super-snackable Brussels-born, Spanish-made chippie has made it Down Under. Superbon has hit the shelves at Manly bottle-o Winona Wine and online boozer Not Wasted. Choose from flavours like truffle, classic salt, chilli-pepper and more.

What we covered last week
• First look: The Trocadero is the fresh Enmore Road bandroom and bar from the team behind Jacoby’s, Earl’s Juke Joint and The Cliff Dive. Nostalgic for Sydney nights when live music, daggy drinks – Midori Illusions and Negroni slushies, to be specific – and dancing till 3am was a religion, it’s a hot newcomer. And there’s a micro-pub landing out the front soon.

• First look: Just-opened Byron cafe Happy Days bakes its bread in-house every morning, and the coffee’s roasted next door. The offering is simple, letting fresh, local ingredients shine – think breakfast plates, sandwiches and pastries.

Sea Raes sails into Sydney Harbour again, delivering Byron Bay’s impeccable vibes to Sydney. The luxe yacht is available for day and overnight charters, which include a full crew and a culinary team overseen by Raes executive chef Jason Saxby.

• Drink up: The list of Sydney’s best bar openings for 2023 is here, and it’s hot. There’s a party-powered mezcal house, a vibrant drink-in distillery, a retro-leaning dive, and a staff favourite where the food is as good as the wine.

• First look: Khamsa Palestinian Eatery has found a new home in St Peters. Head into the casual inner-west spot for falafel, fried cauliflower and stuffed wraps – alongside new menu items like makloubeh, sayadieh and kofta (the once-vegan cafe now serves meat).

• Find leopard-crust pizzas sporting cacio e pepe sauce atop a party-starting Erskineville pub. The Pizza Bros have taken over a shiny gold-tiled woodfire oven on The Imperial Hotel’s rooftop, marking the pair’s first permanent location.

• A cheat sheet to fresh December dining: all the restaurant, bar and cafe openings we got excited about in November.

You might have missed
Gumshara is the iconic ramen joint helmed by Mori Higashida. The renowned eatery closed its Chinatown digs in August, but now it’s back serving up steaming, slurpable bowls of Sydney’s “most hectic” tonkotsu on nearby Kimber Lane. The intensely savoury pork soup is as thick as gravy, coating your mouth in umami. You’ll be smacking your lips long after you’ve exited the paifang gates.

• First look: A former Baba’s Place chef opens the doors to Derrel’s, a casual Indian diner on Parramatta Road that celebrates his Anglo-Indian heritage. The decor is kitschy and there are outstanding curries, tandoori chicken platters and smashed samosas until 2am. Plus, it’s BYO.

• First look: Bobbys is Cronulla’s new Med-leaning diner that’s, quite literally, just off the sand. You can pop by for a quick snack in a breezy dining room or settle in for a leisurely share-style meal – with a menu captained by an ex-Totti’s executive chef.

• Coming soon: Maiz Mexican Street Food is moving this summer – and the new space will be even “more traditional” than ever. It’s revamping the dining room of a now-gone diner we loved, but bringing infused mezcals and more masa than you can shake a corn husk at.

Listen up
This week on Around Town we find some old Sydney magic at The Trocadero Room, Enmore Road’s new bar and bandroom, plus chat about a new northern beaches Italian spot with ocean views and a snappy menu. There’s a breezy French bistro now open in Rozelle, Byron Bay’s latest boutique hotel (in the centre of town), a taste of Ukraine in Chippendale, and a dive into the largest exhibition of Kandinsky ever hung in Australia.