Sitting in this street-level dining room done-up as a basement, surrounded by urbane hipsters boasting manicured facial hair and buttoned-up shirts, I found myself somewhat perplexed.
Sure French-Canadian Poutine ($20) in Sydney is still a novelty; whereas in Melbourne you can eat, what’s essentially chips, cheese curd and gravy, post-clubbing at Lord of the Fries. The Hartsyard version is admittedly fancier - with oxtail gravy, cheddar beer sauce, and scattered bresaola - but it’s also hellishly rich.
You might ease its passage with the 2010 Ca’Rugate Vino Bianco Garganega ($8.50/glass) - if you can get over the stemless hipster glasses making pours seem mean.
This was also the case with the Hartsyard Manhattan ($17.50), where a wafer of crisp prosciutto teetered well above the reddish drink.
The Pisco Punch ($17.50) drank well, and was on-trend for 2012 with smoked pineapple in the mix.
If you can be bothered peeling ‘em yourself, Broad Bean Cooked Over Charcoal ($16) sing against lemon jam and romesco.
Smoked Beef Short Rib ($32) slow-cooked with accompanying marrow was good, but also heavy going.
The only justification for the hype I encountered was Deep Fried Cheese Cake ($16) where standout yuzu butter and popcorn ice cream kept my spoon returning.
Maybe it was just an off night…
33 Enmore Road, Newtown
Ph: (02) 8068 1473