The Wine Library Review
The Wine Library is a lovely wine bar located on the Woolahra end of Oxford St. in Sydney’s Paddington. Its impressive wine list is matched by a morish Italian menu and great, intimate atmosphere. I find it a cool shelter in summer and a warm and cosy hide-out in winter. My favourite thing is that some of the food is prepared right behind the bar with the aromas enveloping the room.
Quick summary | Wednesday night dinner for two, the bill came to $120AUD total.
What we had | The sommelier helped us with picking the Domaine Lucci Pinot Noir 2010 from South Australia which was a perfect red for the food we ordered. We had a couple of oysters to start with, and a toasted quesadilla with black truffles and Stracchino cheese (truffles FTW). We continued stuffing our faces with the spicy lamb gozleme and the most luscious baked polenta with duck ragu and Fontina cheese.
What I liked | The atmosphere is perfect for a date or intimate gathering. It’s the sort of place where wax lyrical goes down as easily as the wine and the hours pass unnoticed. Polenta and quesadilla were the stand out dishes as was the wine if you don’t mind splurging a little (yep, 50% mark up on retail price of that bottle).
What I didn’t like | The food was actually quite affordable but we didn’t find many low priced wines on the menu. Gozleme nothing special so I would skip that and try the meat balls instead. Our sommelier stuffed the order at first, not sure how as he was the one who suggested the wine, but we forgave him as soon as we had the first sip.
Final thoughts | This was my second visit to The Wine Library. The first time was in summer, catching up with a girlfriend over a bottle of Lambrusco and cold Italian meats while we sat at the bar. Both experiences were very enjoyable but I prefer the place in winter, it just seemed so much more cosy.
18 Oxford Street
Woollahra NSW 2025
(02) 9360 5686
Open Weekdays 9am-10pm; Sat 9pm-10pm; Sun 9pm-12am
Bloodwood Restaurant Review
My girlfriend and I had a little celebratory dinner at Bloodwood. Located in Newtown, this place is run by the ex-Claude’s chefs who moved away from fine dining with this new venture. It’s pretty cool and happening with playful decor and good looking crowd but surprisingly sans attitude or arrogance you often expect from places like this. You will find share plates of delicious food, good selection of cocktails and fantastic wines. We both thought it would be a great spot for a date.
Quick summary | Thursday night dinner for two, the bill came to $120AUD total.
What we had | We shared all of the dishes, although some of them we had to fight for like the super soft lamb kibbeh (aka meatballs) with almonds and red capsicum puree sauce. There were mixed salad with crispy pancetta, sweet potato croquettes with garlic sauce and red cabbage, beautiful salmon dish, deconstructed cheesecake and wait for the name…Sugardaddy’s chocolate torte! We washed it down with four glasses of Viognier and two glasses of Grandfather port.
What I liked | The vibe is great – relaxed in attitude but buzzing just enough to be the IT place to be. It’s known as a modern-Australian restaurant but I actually thought, and liked, that it had a variety of different cuisines mixed through the menu. I also love when you can share the dishes so that was another tick form me. Finally, they have reasonably priced Grandfather port on the menu – enough said!
What I didn’t like | Not much really, just a few personal observations. The chocolate torte was a bit too heavy and the pastry on the bottom was too hard for my liking. The kibbeh meatballs were very tasty but there wasn’t enough sauce – a real shame given how good they went together.
Final thoughts | I will definitely go back but next time I will book as it does get busy after 6:30pm even on week nights. It has a great space for a group table under the stairs, feels like it’s set in the basement or cellar. I would definitely consider a large group dinner with friends there.
416 King st.
Open Wed-Thur 5pm-late
Fri-Sat 12 noon -late