Hailing from Town Mouse parentage, Embla hones in on the comforts of the familiar, combining a self-proclaimed “slightly weird” wine list with a straightforward menu. Located in Russell Street, Embla is shrouded in moody, rustic ambiance, accented by exposed brick and hardwood. Executive chef Dave Verheul has curated a wood-oven menu to that neatly accompanies Eric Narioo’s wine selection.
Kirk’s Wine Bar
Green tiled walls and bentwood chairs give Kirk’s Wine Bar a charming sense of old-world European nostalgia. However, it’s the selection of local and European wines that have connoisseurs returning. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a hidden cellar at the bottom of a spiral staircase with enough room for twelve. Chef Ian Curley’s menu is also worthy of a mention with authentic European dishes on offer.
Living up to its name, Smalls Bar is an intimate space with just 24 seats, which has been cleverly designed with a minimalist aesthetic and secret nooks and crannies. Established by Restaurant Revolution’s Jess Ho, Smalls Bar is the place to find boutique tipples to accompany chef Andy Hearnden’s ever-changing menu featuring a “pimp your dish” option, allowing you to add truffles to anything.
Since 1995, Punch Lane has been a post-theatre haunt. Sitting on the Paris end of Little Bourke Street, the inviting bar exudes old-world sophistication mirrored in the 200-strong wine list, encompassing a myriad of wine regions which are written across the blackboard clad walls. Punch Lane also features a seasonal menu by Giselle Saffigna.
City Wine Shop
Sitting in the shadow of Parliament House, City Wine Shop is part bottle-O, part elegant establishment minus the fuss. Unquestionably European, the variety of vino also includes local varieties which you can enjoy on-site or at home. The menu features continental breakfast staples, modest wine food and satisfying counter meals such as potato and sage gnocchi with roasted pumpkin and mushroom risotto.