Naughty or nautical? I’ll let you decide about the knotted black velvet ropes that Melbourne designer Sarah Parkes has hung from the ceiling in this funky, Paddington wine bar, in which Matt Woods (Bloodwood) also had a hand.
You’ll find a good wine list with plenty to keep you interested – a lot I’ve never heard of, and a good selection sitting around fifty bucks – so not too big an investment either way. You can consume them inside, or in their wine garden when the weather is not inclement.
To begin, I’d direct you toward the Chicken Liver Parfait ($16) accompanied by the restrained oak of a ripper Chateau St Jean Chardonnay ($13/glass) from Sonoma, California.
Mostly because no matter how tasty the Aromatic Seafood Broth ($14), or how joyful the accompanying Tuscan bread bursting with red grapes and onion, the dish falls short if the mussels and clams within are overcooked.
Fried Gnocchi with Gorgonzola, Spinach and Pancetta ($26) replaces the usual soft, potato pillows with deep brown fritters.
A nicely presented board of Bangalow Pork Belly ($32) had some technical issues – poorly rendered fat, undercooked cauliflower, and too crisp black pudding.
Yes, the mistakes, including a lumpy log of Truffle Mash ($9), were all minor. Perhaps an overly ambitious kitchen, or maybe the newly recruited Chef Skye Carigiet has yet to leave a real mark on the menu? Only time will tell…
Avido Restaurant & Wine Garden
438 Oxford Street, Paddington
Ph: (02) 8084 5465