Autumn has brought with it an exciting crop of new restaurants, filling the crisp air with the aromas of spit-roasted lamb, blooming onions and homemade pasta. These are the openings everyone’s talking about right now.
If there’s one thing the Swillhouse crew knows how to pull off, it’s transporting its patrons to the grandeur of a bygone era. And in the case of Hubert, it’s Paris. There’s a strong team on board: the guys behind Shady Pines, The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza and the head chef at 10 William Street, Dan Pepperell. With seven distinct spaces, a wall of wine and a baby grand piano, they really went all out. It’s classic French village food; terrines, parfaits, blood cakes and steak with pepper sauce.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked into a market in Spain or South America at Mercado. It’s the work of Nathan Sasi (Good Times Artisan Ice Cream), and it’s incredibly ambitious considering it’s his first restaurant. It makes its own cheese, has its own charcuterie, mills its own flour for bread and has a trolley service that delivers cheese to your table. Sasi has designed a menu inspired by Spanish and Moorish cuisine. Share plates feature cured meats, cheeses from and whole spit-roasted lambs and suckling pigs.
This is a 160-seater in Rushcutters Bay dedicated to homemade pasta. Head chef Paola Toppi (Also of Double Bay restaurant Sciue Sciue) has focused on a compact menu that is full of hits. Pasta options include silky spaghetti with king prawns, mushrooms, garlic, chilli and basil; pappardelle with white bolognaise and cherry tomatoes; and baby gnocchi with sweetened blue cheese. The heritage site (formerly a tyre factory) has seen a quick turnover of high-profile restaurants (Nield Avenue and Rushcutters), but rather than being intimidated by the enormous space, Bar Machiavelli embraces it.
Brought to you by the team behind ACME, Bar Brosé is a wine-and-snack station. ACME’s part-time pasta maker, Analiese Gregory, calls the shots in the kitchen, and Katrina Birchmeier (ex-Garagistes co-owner) runs the floor. The French-inspired menu pushes boundaries with unusual textures and unlikely flavour combinations. Highlights include the comté gougere (a French pastry), and a blooming onion and pouel au vin du Marrickville, with crème lyonnaise, onions, fois gras butter and wine from the Jura region. The extensive wine list touches on everything from light reds to full-bodied whites.
Touted the Coogee Pavilion of the north, Merivale’s latest venture doesn’t disappoint. The space has a food-festival feel – each area of the space has been designed with an individual look and concept. There’s Vinnie’s Pizzeria, The Kiosk and The Shack. Everyone from Dan Hong to Patrick Friesen has contributed to the menus. There are no order-and-pay queues, nor table service. The Newport’s app allows patrons to order food from their seat. Once you’re ready to leave, pay and alert the valet to ready the car.