Scoop was there when Parsons Bar opened, and return now to this Potts Point favourite of ours to catch up on their latest menu offerings.
Named after the elusive Mr Parsons, a humble community voice in the previous dark times of gangs and crime in the local area, Parsons Bar was designed with a similar philosophy. The jovial co-owners think of their venue as a "refuge for the community, a place where you can kick your feet up and call home, sink into our cosy chesterfield and enjoy a beverage". Mr Parsons himself would surely be impressed.
Cocktails are creative in flavours as well as names: eg. The Parsons Mistress (Belvedere, elderflower, gin, egg white, mint; $18) and a Bacon Bourbon Old Fashion ($18) with bacon-infused bourbon and actual candied bacon. We enjoy overhearing one patron order a Fat Headed Waiter. The Stone Fruit Sour ($17) is a tasty concoction of Four Pillars gin, Lillet Blanc, apricot brandy, peach bitters and lemon, and newcomer Mike's Graphic Adulation ($18) gives cucumber the spotlight it so often is denied when used just as a garnish.
There's a couple of rotating Rocks Brewing Co. options on tap, more by the bottle, and a solid, mostly Australian, wine list.
And if you've made it to your first round drinks and haven't yet accompanied it with a snack from their menu, you are woefully missing out! Order a serve of "The Best Chips" ($9) in all their double-fried glory and see if you agree with the title (we think we might). The Southern-Fried Chicken Wings are definite contenders for some of Sydney's best as well - deliciously spiced and moreish ($15 for 6 pieces).
A Scallop Ceviche ($15) with currants and walnuts in a white wine vinegar offers a tart palate cleanse and is full of delicious citrus zing. Then a Charred Cauliflower Salad ($16) is a generous and attractive dish complete with kale, fresh fruit and maple pecans.
The mains are where the real magic happens, however. Parsons' Mini Chicken Roast ($18) is some divine crispy-skinned chicken stuffed with parsley, spinach, walnuts and currants, with a tasty fresh basil dressing. And the Four Mushroom Risotto ($20) features a decadent, deliciously earthy mix of shiitake, woodear, swiss brown and oyster mushrooms with spinach, truffle oil and pecorino. Risotto fans of Sydney, this is unquestionably one for your list.
Savoury feasts such as these may call for restraint come dessert time, and Parsons offers a sensibly simple sweet menu of salted caramel fudge ($3 per piece) and homemade gelato ($12 for three scoops or $16 in an icecream sandwich).
Being a family owned bar, it certainly has that homely touch they desire. Staff are professional yet warm and relaxed as well, and evidently take much pride in their menu and venue. With this attitude, we're not surprised to hear that the bar - "the heart of our venue" - was built by the owners themselves.
There are booths and benches, a front patio and more outdoor dining at the back, or just pull up a stool at the bar to watch the magic happen up close.