Food Inside Australia's VERY romantic wine bar of the year
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Your favorite glass of red is packed with antioxidants—but it is still booze.Red wine is produced from dark-skinned grape varieties which are expertly harvested, pressed, and fermented with grape skins and juice inside a tank or vat. Consider fermentation to be the secret sauce—it transforms humble grapes into full-bodied, flavourful wines. Ah, to be the first, curious soul to realize the endless potential of fermented grape juice! While France and Italy are the countries most commonly associated with wine, the beverage has ancient origins in China, with archaeological records dating back to 7,000 years ago.
A romantic French bistro run by one of Australia's top sommeliers has been crowned the country's best wine bar.
Tucked in the heart of Sydney CBD, Parisian-inspired Monopole was named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Wine Bar of the Year at a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.
Once housed in a moodily lit basement, the restaurant recently moved to a new location complete with floor-to-ceiling windows which can be flung open to create an airy terrace, perfect for post-lockdown summer dining.
Co-owned by award-winning chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, the venue takes limited reservations to accommodate curious passersby who stumble upon it while wandering the city.
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Hildebrandt has been crowned Australia's best sommelier more than once, but the humble connoisseur simply refers to himself as 'the wine guy'.
It sounds lavish, but Monopole offers upscale dining at a surprisingly affordable cost.
Premium Australian vintages including WA Savagnan from Heretic are available from $12 a glass, and there's plenty of fun to be had for less than $100 a bottle.
The restaurant serves a three-course sharing menu for $90 per person, with dishes including yellowfin tuna and sweet corn custard vol-au-vents to start, rump steak in a red wine jus for main, and blood orange tart for dessert.
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New research suggests that no amount of alcohol is considered healthy to sip on. Here's how you can still reap the heart health benefits without the alcohol.Research presented at the British Science Festival and published in the journal Clinical Nutrition suggests that no amount of alcohol is considered healthy to sip on. Study investigators recruited 446,439 adults and asked them to keep track of their drinking habits—which included beer, cider, wine, and spirits—for approximately seven years. The authors checked in with the volunteers' health reports throughout the trial.
Diners have left rave reviews online, with many saying there is 'nothing to fault' from the 'exquisite' food to the 'impeccable' service.
'Another amazing dining experience at Monopole with fabulous food, excellent wines and service. Always a pleasure to travel to Sydney for a memorable and pleasurable dining experience,' one man wrote.
Another added: 'One of the best dining experience I've ever had.'
In the midst of Sydney's 15-week lockdown, Monopole set itself apart by creating a special Bastille Day menu in honour of the July 14 holiday that promised to take diners on a tour of France from the comfort of their own home.
The menu, made up of 'almost-ready' dishes simple enough for cooks of all skill levels to assemble, included starters of potato and leek soup and trout baguettes, a main course of confit duck cassoulet and a layered chocolate cake slathered in raspberry sauce for dessert.
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Elsewhere in the annual awards, an intimate farm-style eatery with just 30 seats was crowned Australia's best restaurant of the year.
Tedesca Osteria, set in an early 20th-century weatherboard house overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, VIC, was on Sunday named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year.
But diners looking to make a reservation will have to wait to get a table until 2022 as the restaurant confirms it's officially booked out until the end of 2021.
Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner spent more than a decade dreaming of opening the restaurant, which seats between 30 and 35 diners for intimate, slow-paced lunches.
'Tedesca sprung from something I'd been thinking about for a long time,' she said.
'I grew it in my heart, from my thoughts, from conversations and how I like to cook.'
Gourmet Traveller praised it for being 'sophisticated and elegant yet operating in a way that is both humble and intensely personal'.
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Tedesca Osteria serves a fixed menu dining experience for $155 per head. A typical menu might consist of antipasto, hand made pasta, a seafood course, a meat course and dessert, but this will change with the seasons.
The restaurant has received near-perfect Google reviews, with many customers calling it 'the best dining experience' of their lives.
'We love this little space so much, we don't even know where to start. The food is to die for and the open kitchen feels so warm and inviting, it's like dining at a friend's house in the Italian countryside. This place is an absolute gem,' one diner wrote.
Another said: 'Incredible dining experience. Felt like a beautiful meal in someone’s impeccably designed home.'
While one added: 'This was one of the most delightful food experiences we have had. The food was fresh, innovative and a beautiful balance of flavours and textures. Staff were highly proficient and most welcoming. A must if you visit the Peninsula.'
2022 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Award winners
Restaurant of the Year: Tedesca Osteria, Red Hill, Victoria
Restaurant of the Year state winners: Tedesca Osteria (Victoria), Saint Peter (NSW), Fico (Tasmania), Millbrook (WA), Restaurant Botanic (SA), Elska (Queensland), Pilot (ACT)
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How four friends are redefining the industry’s notoriously stuffy reputation, one champagne and Chinese food pairing at a time.Tucked away on Mott Street, Peking Duck House—a local institution beloved for its namesake dish—is a monthly afternoon gathering place for Wine Migos, a tight-knit group of friends and bons vivants, all of whom work in the business in some capacity. Here, they catch up over the house classics and share select bottles of champagne from their own personal reserves—a ritual that came to be thanks to a shared love of the flavor dynamics between Chinese cuisine and a glass of cold, crisp bubbles.
Chef of the Year: Daniel Puskas from Sixpenny, Sydney
Best New Restaurant: Gimlet, Melbourne
Best New Talent: Jung Eun Chae from Chae, Sydney
Restaurant Personality of the Year: Sharon Romeo from Fino, SA
Best Destination Dining: Oaks Kitchen and Garden, Queensland
Best Wine Bar: Monopole, Sydney
Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality: Amy Chanta
Gimlet, Andrew McConnell's restaurant set in 1920s-era Cavendish House in Melbourne's CBD, won Best New Restaurant, while Jung Eun Chae of Melbourne's Chae restaurant was named Best New Talent.
Daniel Puskas of Sixpenny in Sydney was named Chef of the Year, in the night's only peer-voted award. The restaurant pivoted to a successful bakery model amid the state's lockdown.
'This year has been enormously challenging for the restaurant industry but it has also sparked new depths of creativity and resilience, particularly from our restaurant award winners,' Gourmet Traveller editor Joanna Hunkin said.
'As Sydney and Melbourne reopen and regional travel resumes, what better time to celebrate the joy of dining out and the people who make it so special.'
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