What’s on around town
• Redfern’s red-hot Italian restaurant Fontana has just launched aperitivi hour. Head upstairs from 5.30pm to 6.30pm Wednesday to Saturday for $12 Negronis, House Martinis and Spritzes. Plus, $10 wines and $6 Grifter pale ales.
• Beloved inner west pub The Erko has just had a glow up – and former Chiswick chef Ethan Robinson is about to transform the menu. From October 12 you can try Robinson’s take on classic pub grub – including house-made bread and produce from the neighbouring community garden.
• The Crown’s lavish Italian diner A’Mare is launching Sunday Sessions this weekend. Between midday and 6pm, all bookings of four or more get a round of spritzes – Montenegro, Limoncello or Aperol – on the house.
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• Beachside sugar rush: Max Brenner is opening on Manly Wharf this Saturday September 30. To celebrate there’ll be free chocolate-drenched waffles and hot chocolates (on Sunday they’ll be $2). Look out for the Toffle, a cheesy toasted waffle-sandwich.
Yum things by cool people
• Lode Pies and Pastries has joined forces with Thermomix, bringing a tiramisu canelé to its Crown Street shop until Sunday October 1. The tiny, chewy French pastries are laced with marsala and vanilla, stuffed with coffee-laden ganache and finished with a swirl of mascarpone.
• Olsson’s Salt has just launched two cocktail salts: Native Citrus (pink plum and lemon myrtle) and Smokin’ Chilli (red gum-smoked salt flakes and chilli flakes). They’re perfect for your next at-home Margarita.
• Good Ways Deli just scored a fun new neighbour. To welcome Toby Wilson to the neighbourhood, the GWD team has added an al pastor toastie to the menu “for the next little while”. It’s got roast pork (or celeriac), green salsa, cheese, onion and adobo jam, toasted in a ciabatta roll – and it looks damn good.
What we covered this week
• Celebrated chef Danielle Alvarez (ex-Fred’s) has been appointed culinary director of the Sydney Opera House’s event venues. The news coincides with the release of her new cookbook, and the ticket release for its immersive launch event.
• First Look: Sultry 10-person mezcal bar La Prima is hidden in a backroom of a standout pub. There’s a sharp cocktail list, tacos and Mexican records, all lit by candlelight. Will you be able to find her?
• Surry Hills sandwich stop Lucky Pickle has opened a second spot in Pyrmont, bringing the winning chicken katsu beauty and an added togarashi-dusted, salty-spicy side.
• First look: Lotus Group’s elevated Cantonese eatery Pearl has opened its doors, bringing a spread of dim sum, barbeque and seafood – and a wraparound balcony with Harbour Bridge views. Dine on mud crab xiao long bao, king-prawn toast, pancakes stuffed with double-roasted Peking duck and Tasmanian lobster in signature XO.
• First Look: the newest spot for a sip in Marrickville is Unexpected Guest, a working distillery and bar where as much attention has been paid to the fit-out as the cocktail list (where Messina’s lemon sorbet makes a cameo appearance).
• Smoking Gringos is Blacktown’s new taqueria, where an ex-Momofuku chef and Burger Head founder serves birrias queso tacos – with meat that’s been smoked for six hours – that constantly sell out.
You might’ve missed
• Bondi has scored a buzzy new spot to dine on pan-Asian dishes cooked in a wok or woodfired oven. Easy Tiger has roared into the locale, bringing a bargain choose-your-own-adventure five-dish banquet and an on-site micro-brewery.
• Funda is the immersive neon-lit Korean spot in the CBD that’s brought a top Seoul chef to the Harbour City to stay. The pulsing restaurant pushes the envelope of dining in the city, fusing Korean dishes and European ingredients – think burrata with soy-marinated prawns – with a futuristic backdrop of lights.
• Byron Bay has welcomed Bonito, an Asian-leaning restaurant from ex-Spicers Retreats chef Minh Le. It’s in the newly opened five-star Hotel Marvell, which also boasts a rooftop pool and bar.
• This week on Around Town we celebrate 10 years of one of Sydney’s first small bars, get to know a Northern Beaches restaurant fusing Mexican and Peruvian cuisine, hear about a favoured boozer’s revamped rooftop and new Cantonese bistro menu, and lean into the long weekend with the intel on a fresh new poolside bottomless brunch.