Poetica has just turned up the heat in North Sydney with the unveiling of its modern bar and grill restaurant. Be prepared for the wow factor in both the fit-out and the food – with ‘fire and charcoal’ at the heart…
Poetica is the latest project for hospitality group Etymon Project, the force behind another local favourite, the Parisian-inspired bistro and boulangerie Loulou in Milsons Point.
The group’s director, Sebastien Lutaud says, “The concept for Poetica was to create a bar and grill that reflects the refined and relaxed style of contemporary Sydney dining. A welcoming vibe that works as well for entertaining clients over lunch as a dinner with friends or a drink after work.”
Fire, wood and charcoal are at the heart of Poetica’s menu, which was designed by head chef Connor Hartley Simpson – a seasoned veteran who’s worked in two and three Michelin-starred restaurants across the US and Europe. You can watch the magic unfold in the restaurant’s 15-metre-long open kitchen featuring glass-fronted dry-ageing cabinets, a Josper charcoal oven and a custom wood-burning hearth.
“In the kitchen, we’re focusing on using incredible local produce, dry-ageing in-house, cooking with either charcoal or fire where it works, pickling and fermenting to play around with flavours, and really letting the produce be the hero,” says Hartley-Simpson.
“One of the highlights is going to be the Sydney rock oysters topped with nduja and a guindilla pepper, which are then treated to an ancient wood fire ‘flambadou’ technique as melted beef fat is dripped from a red-hot cast-iron cone over the top,” Lutaud says.
Another highlight will be the swordfish, which Hartley-Simpson dry-ages on the bone for seven days and then slowly cooks above the fire until the last minute when it gets a flash on the hot grill to caramelise. The fish is accompanied by a buttery roasted fish sauce that is poured table side.
Guests can also enjoy an ever-changing range of big, slow-cooked meats from the dry-ageing cabinet including whole sirloins, T-bones and tomahawks. These are sliced in-house and cooked using different heat sources to keep things interesting.
Complementing Poetica’s culinary offering is an impressive collection of 450 mostly Australian wines, spanning vintage classics from 1987 through to young and new-wave winemakers.
Director of wine, Paolo Saccone (The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar; Loulou Bistro; Mimi’s) says, “We’ve spent months scouring private collector’s cellars to curate an incredible range of almost impossible-to-find vertical back vintages of Australian icons like Mount Mary ‘Quintet’, Moss Wood, and Cullen.”
The light-filled restaurant is a masterpiece in itself with an impressive 700-bottle wine wall, striking 15-metre-long acrylic wall mural by Australian artist Kristian Hawker, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and interiors inspired by the nearby Sydney foreshore. This includes calming sea foam green and steely blue accents, oak timber flooring, tan upholstery and walnut and oat furniture.
The 120-seat dining room opens out to four intimate outdoor terraces and an adjoining 40-person bar. Here, you can enjoy 100 mostly Australian spirits, local craft beers and 12 cocktails celebrating Australian ingredients.
Poetica is open now for bookings.