When a clutch of industry veterans open a hip wine bar and eatery in a trendy suburb, it’s easy to cast a critical eye. But at Bloodwood, it’s hard to find any flaws. Nestled down the far end of the Newtown strip, the biggest drawback for the narrow, converted space is that so many people are keen to get in that you’ll be faced with a short wait. But grab a reclaimed tractor seat at the front bar and you’ll still be able to make the most of the hefty organic/biodynamic wine list. The space is the work of Newtown-based designer Matt Woods, and he’s done a nifty job with the space’s scattering of recycled, slightly bizarre objects (think doors on the ceiling) and raw-brick finishes, conjuring a kind of back alley, industrial-chic.
The trio of owner/chefs Mitchell Grady, Claire Van Vuuren and Jo Ward are all ex-Claude’s and busily hefting pans in the open kitchen as you wander past to the split-level dinning area and balcony. Menus are seasonal and broken into share dishes of various sizes. Maybe crunchy sweet-potato croquets, chickpea ‘socca’ pancake with blistered cherry tomatoes, or a walnut tart with baby beets and samphire. Whatever you do, don’t miss the polenta chips with gorgonzola.