This mostly monochrome environment allows the beauty of colour to shine.
My eye is caught by the red banquette; dazzled by the vivid blue neon of a confronting Julie Rrap; enchanted by the golden curls of daughter Lily Bilson, a shining beacon of warmth on a restaurant floor that allows her to use her art and anthropology majors to good effect.
It’s two blocks (and a hundred miles) from Bilson’s. A Pheasant, Pork and Foie Gras Terrine ($21) is served up rustically on a wooden board, against cubes of pheasant consomme jelly and Dijon mustard.
A contrasting entree of Boudin of Crab with Pine Mushrooms ($21) is totally autumnal – three columns of pale creamy crab wobble delicately on a forest floor of beautiful pine mushrooms. Both dishes intertwine nicely with the 2005 Mitchelton ‘Airstrip’ Marsanne, Roussanne Viognier ($70) - a great winter white.
Lily’s recommendation, the Ballotine of Spatchcock with Foie Gras, Sweetbreads & Mushroom Risotto ($35) is everything I want in one dish; the mushrooms are cooked achingly well.
I know my dining companion ate this dish, Braised Oxtail with Pomme Purée & Dutch Carrots ($31) but to tell the truth I remember little of it, so enchanted was I with my own plate.
My main was only surpassed by the Crème Caramel with Strawberries and Champagne Jelly ($14) which transports the ordinary into the extraordinary via texture, clarity and restraint.
It eclipses a fractionally over-sweet Raspberry Soufflé ($18); but no matter, my senses have been stroked by beauty. My hunger soothed.
You can see my last visit HERE. This is my first return visit since Miguel Maestre has departed, and despite a warmth for the cheeky Spaniard, I must say it's an easier, more cohesive dining experience now.
Number One Wine Bar & Bistro
1 Alfred Street, Goldfields House, Circular Quay
Ph: (02) 8252 9296