|The bar at Gotham, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst|
And it’s as if someone knew this and opened up Gotham on Oxford Street late last year – a sophisticated and stylish bar (circa 1950s New York, apparently) with an admirable, restaurant-level menu of food to go with the imbibing of alcoholic beverages, and seating arrangements of almost any desire.
|Seats inside Gotham|
There’s a fireplace that appears to be a warmth placebo, as well as an extended upstairs level that seems perfect for a Saturday night party.
|Upper East Side cocktail|
My choice of the Upper East Side is served short; a mix of muddled fresh pink grapefruit shaken with Cointreau, gin and a dash of Campari. Its sweet and slightly bitter profile, along with the cute pinkness of the drink, manages to erase thoughts of the freezing outside conditions.
|The Big Apple cocktail|
|Glass of white wine|
With a proper kitchen and recently appointed "lead culinary consultant" Laif Etournaud (previously from Onde, Bistro Moncur and Berowra Waters Inn), these are some serious shared eats.
There’s also a choice of five main meals plus sides for those hungrier souls; although I really gravitate towards the idea of lots of share plates when drinking.
|Duck liver parfait with cornichons and sourdough|
This textbook quenelle of duck liver parfait was supremely rich and creamy with a detectable liver-liness; gorgeously luxurious slathered onto the thin, toasted slices of sourdough bread. The cornichons and pickled onions add tart relief from too much richness, which isn’t altogether a bad thing in this case.
|Pan fried olive and parmesan sandwich|
I’m all for cheese toasties at the worst of times, so this pimped up version was easily my favourite dish of the night. The crunchy bread contrasted superbly with the chewy parmesan cheese; the olives provided the flavour hit while the chopped parsley atop delivered some necessary freshness.
|Crisp chicken wings with lime mayonnaise|
However, a subsequent visit to Gotham found their chicken wings closer to crisp with an impactful salt and pepper seasoning on the burnished skin of juicy, juicy mid-wings. I also noted the fun comic sheets beneath lining the basket - look out for Batman here!
|Sugar cured ocean trout with horseradish cream and grilled sourdough|
The ocean trout, cut to a good thickness, was pert and bouncing with fresh flavours, served with more bread and watercress sprigs.
We continued the sharing theme with one main between two of us: the choice a toss-up between the Kinkawooka mussels and the Angus sirloin. It went the latter, although the entire mains menu sounded pretty appetising.
Grilled Angus sirloin (150-day grain fed) with fries and beurre marchand
With a slight tartness and rich, caramelly flavours from the reduction, it reminded me a little of the retro Diane sauce, but nothing nearly so heavy. It even made a great dip for the french fries.
We had our chewing work cut out in some parts of the long-ish sirloin steak, but the tender, perfectly medium-rare sections made it completely worthwhile.
|Warm Madeleine with sauternes, home-made quince paste and double cream|
The hot, crisp-surfaced madeleines were simply perfect: deep brown shell shapes of an eggy cake, crumbing delightfully and served with an unexpected quince paste – the match surprisingly appropriate given the paste’s subdued tartness.
Although fairly quiet on an early weeknight, in all I found Gotham quite appealing and adding a little bit of classy eating and drinking to the popular street. It may not exactly be a slice of New York, but Friday happy hour cocktails and the welcoming furniture will see me back. Oh, and the parmesan and olive toastie – of course.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of Gotham with thanks to Folke.