For a bar and restaurant to execute this well (if not as fast as one might hope) on a soft open is a great sign.
Starting with the Parisienne gnocchi covered in Camembert the only complaint might be for a funkier cheese but the texture of the gnocchi was great. Portion size was good (in a practical sense) but seemed small for the price.
Quality prawns came with an assortment of accompaniments including an interesting yuzu mignonette and a horseradish salt that could have been more punchy.
The pork jowl bacon was like a marriage of bacon, lardo, and prosciutto: hot and savory waiting to be heaped with bright ricotta on delicious pita. You can almost hear your heart begging you to look away.
The burger’s bun could be firmer (perhaps simply more toasted) but the Vegemite butter and vidalia onions kept me me coming back for bites even after I finished the great fries, dipping them in the Hollandaise-topped egg presented in its shell.
Adam, Sarah, and the rest of the bar crew serve an impressive lineup of new cocktails and quality versions of standbys. There are a number of lower-alcohol aperitif cocktails that all escape the too-sweet and uninteresting fate to which most lighter options fall. The menu is helpfully divided by style and presentation, moving on from the lighter options to rocks, ups, downs, and spiritous options. Among them is the Can Can, my favorite of the night, with an initial dramatic note of lavender that soon settles into a dangerously drinkable combination of whiskey, maple, and bitters. Whatever you may think lies outside your normal preferences I urge you to give these drinks a try. A drink with strawberry wasn’t at all too sweet. A drink with vodka managed character. A drink made with Sauternes was unmistakably a cocktail without losing the character of the wine.
I have no doubt my rating is destined to rise as the service is polished to match the excellent fare. Come now before you’ll never get a seat.
(Crossposted to Yelp.)