• Alanna Sapwell (ex-Beach Byron Bay and Arc Dining has signed on as head chef at the Northern Rivers’ Eltham Hotel. So far, the menu has featured meringue topped with mandarins from "up the road” and sausage rolls with harissa sauce.
• La Salut's almost exclusively Spanish wine list, from ex-Merivale head sommelier Melissa Moore, just won the Special Jury Prize at Star Wine List's annual awards for offering "[n]ot only a creative wine list, but also a well-organised and a fantastic designed one".
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• Sydney’s first store dedicated exclusively to hot sauce, That Hot Sauce Shop, will open on Manly’s Sydney Road on Saturday July 15. Pick up small-batch mixes of lacto-fermented habanero and bush citrus, milder smoked barbeque sauces or the hottest Hot Wings hall-of-famers.
• Remaining north of the bridge, Queen Ester opened its second falafel bar in Mona Vale in April. Expect fried and gooey eggplant, hot cheese-filled ziva, house-made malawach, and plenty of falafel.
• Whittaker’s Chocolate is collaborating with House Made Hospitality this winter. Until Sunday August 6, Bar Mammoni, This Way Canteen and Grana will be baking chocolate-powered goods inspired by the gold-wrapped blocks, such as a coconut and chocolate cruller, peanut-slab torta, and honey and almond croissant.
• Merivale’s farm-to-table Paddington diner Fred’s has relaunched its Saturday bakehouse brekkie. Start your weekend with just-baked brown-sugar palmiers, rhubarb and custard hand pies, or a seasonal galette. Walk-ins only.
• Yulli’s Brews will be hosting Art & Ales on Sunday July 16 in support of Greyhound Rescue. Bid on works painted by rehabilitated greyhounds and sip stellar brews for a good cause. Free entry.
• El Primo Sanchez is launching Sanchez Sundays – that’s tortas, snacks and $10 Highballs from 1pm–8.30pm – this week with free Highballs for the first 100 people through the Paddington doors.
• Curious about the surge of ice bath–obsessives? Try it for free at North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club on Friday July 28 between 6am and 12pm. Recovery Lab’s Ben Seymour will coach you through your plunge, and there’ll be T2’s latest ready-to-drink iced teas on pour.