Right through the heart of it, Sydney has been showing off this winter, with blue skies and warm sunny days. And alongside winter produce like black truffles, apples and pears (particularly good with cheese, even better with cheese as a dessert like at Silverester's Restaurant), cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts (shredded young and sweet like in the winter salad at Cafe Giorgio), with winter bevvies liked mulled wine and hot toddies - we are loving it!.
Favourites for July have been the Bastille Day celebrations at Silvester's where French Chef de Cuisine Raphael Szurek turned on home town tradition from Lyon, where he trained under the Pope of Cooking, Paul Bocuse himself. The intrinsic craftmanship shows with extraordinary pastry wrapping the unctuous Pate en Croute, and melt in the mouth beef cheeks in red wine the foundation for layers of freshly shaved black truffle.
Friends at Four Frogs Crepes also offered a week of Bastille Day specials, but it was the all month long French offerings that also got our nod of approval. Oh you sweet thing - our fave lush dessert indulgence was the Four Frogs Chestnut Creme. Uncontrolled orgasms in a public place. We're also particularly fond of their dry French Normandy cider any time of year, but their July hot cider cocktail was our beverage choice this month. It won on both taste and value.
Winter is a time to sit slow and hanging out at your local is a great way to do that. Our fave pub nosh right now is at the Old Fitzroy Hotel which is shining in British creativity with humble cooking star Nicholas Hill at the helm, now that he's returned from London to Sydney. Think Rissole sandwich beetroot Cheddar fries, Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding and gravy, Chicken liver & pine mushroom terrine with Madeira jelly & hazelnut or Vol au Vent of poached oyster with Vermouth sauce. That's how to get your Manhattans and martinis on a plate, people. For sweet tooths, Marmalade ice cream with butterscotch toast. Lovely. On the pub scene, a nod also to the downstairs dining room pub lunch specials at the Crown Hotel on Elizabeth Street. Glammed up pub preso for the $9 pie peas and mash. And, they've just opened the rooftop.
Big shout out to Mode Bar and Kitchen Executive Chef Francesco Mannelli at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney who this week won the Tourism Accomodation Australia (Australian Hotels Association) Chef Of The Year. Well done and well deserved.
And this winter we saw the return of glamour when people dressed up for the launch of Sydney Night Out Reimagined. The 50s crooning was just as fabbie as the glitz sequins that turned up for a weeknight soiree at Pelicano Double Bay that started splendidly with a coupe of G.H. Mumm on arrival. Dish of the night was Spiced lamb rump fennel confit potatoes and jus. Thanks to Danielle Mountford of Epic Events; her concept was marvellous and we are keen to see where she is taking us next. Anytime of year is right for an elegant dry gin martini - so they've stayed with us through the season too. Our choice this month was at Parsons Bar and Kitchen. When you're there, try the awesome pate - their mum makes it. True.
Ongoing kudos to Harris Farm Markets for their fight against packaging. Winter means soup and we are loving their take home range in glass jars. And what could beat a walk and taste through the an outdoors produce market on a sunny winter's day. Or sitting lazily next to the iconic El Alameine fountain at Cafe Giorgio sipping rose and nibbling Ortiz anchovies. Or devouring the gnocchi. Yum. Yum. Yum.