This venue has settled in beautifully; these days is looks more like a garden than a hipster pub affectation. Matt Kemp is clearly primed to lift it from a wine bar with optional food, to a modern British foodie destination. Pumped up floor staff are right behind him, too. His offerings are simple, produce-driven and seasonally sensitive; my favourite being his salad of crisp pig – Pork Crackling, Scratchings and Ears ($18) – served with witlof, fresh apple and apple sauce. Mussels ($20) also prove warm weather sensitive, served up with cider, fresh leeks and crème fraiche; though I liked the bone marrow enriched Portobello Mushrooms ($18) on toast better. Cure any remaining childhood aversion to ‘little trees’ with Matt’s Fried Cauliflower Cheese ($12) – like the rest of the dishes, it’s a wickedly hearty serve. Throwing in a shared main of Crumbed Veal Cutlet ($29.50) dripping with brown butter may have been overkill, though it did give us a chance to explore more of Keystone Group Sommelier Sarah Limacher’s paint-by-numbers wine list. Her three key descriptors should see you drinking more leftfield choices, like the approachable “golden/hay/apricot” 2010 Fattori ‘Danieli’ Soave Classico ($12/glass), or the even better “dried spice/peach/apple” 2010 Milton Chenin Blanc ($12/glass), this summer.
Gazebo Wine Garden
2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay
Ph: (02) 9357 5333 www.gazebowinegarden.com.au
British/Wine/Modern Australian $$$