With a rear New York-style laneway entrance and the ceiling covered with cyclone fencing, Darrell Felstead’s re-imagined small bar is stripped back and raw.
It’s a little like the owner/chef, who has recently fought his own way back from rock bottom, and in doing so, reassessed the type of restaurant and bar he’d like to present: “In a strange way, closing the business was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Felstead has created the small bar you come to when you don’t want artifice – just good wine, bread and choose-your-own charcuterie and cheese. While it might have you wanting to buy a vowel, the 2013 CRFT ‘Budenberg’ Pinot Noir ($85) from the Adelaide Hills, is just that: a good, complex and intriguing wine. Throw in your own selection of perfectly ripened cheese – the Merco Valdeon ($6/50g) goat, cow and sheep’s milk blue and the Cropwell Bishop Stilton ($6/50g) being favourites – some Bresaola ($5/50g) and a pot of Pear Chutney ($5.50) and it’s ‘hello dinner’.
Everything’s served picnic-style on brown paper wrapped boards that had my inner hygiene freak smiling. When you add it all up, including ripper Fig and Aniseed Bread ($3) and a few fat Dill Pickles ($5), it isn’t exactly cheap, but you do get precisely what you pay for.
Deli Wine Bar
Sophia Street (look for the neon), Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9280 2147