Please don't get the wrong idea about me because for doing two consecutive posts on Wine Bars.. its not like that, really.. I promise - I have a valid explanation!
And if thats not enough, I actually visited the new Wine Library in Paddington twice in one day. All in good reason though..its was a Friday (hooray) and I celebrated my birthday last Sunday the 12th of September, so this was a kick off to the epic birthday weekend that was to come. Thats the excuse i'm going with.
The Wine Library is a new addition to the Woolhara end of Oxford St. The beauty of Paddington is that a place which would seem like a tiny shoebox from the frontage actually expands further and further back. They worked their work magic on this property - a well designed space that has a serviced bar, a few tables in the back section, an awesome cured meat closet (you'll see what I mean later..) as well as access to a garden courtyard.
I've driven past on numerous occasions at night and wondered "What is that new place, why is it always busy and why haven't I been??" Luckily for me, its a hop skip and jump from the office - a perfect venue for a quick friday birthday lunch with my lovely G-Star girls! They are just as excited as I am to try this new place and to get away from our desks!!
Lunchtime was not busy at all, we grab a table in the back section with the awesome view of the "Meat Closet". A small tiled room displaying the imported cured meats and tempting everyones tastebuds! One can only guess that this little tiled room used to be a bathroom.. creative indeed!
The photo on the right..wow where do I even start? My Epic birthday lunch aka everything Gianna could wish for on a plate - A stracchino and black truffle quesadilla. This right here made my birthday. It was ridicuously creamy, but with the right amount of saltiness. My fellow eaters were baffled as to how I could consume a dish so rich on my own! I love truffles - the smell, the flavour - I would order anything with truffles if it was on the menu. This is Wine Library's version of a truffle grilled cheese sandwich. If someone asked me what I would have as a final meal, this quesadilla would be on the list.
We were impressed by the quality of the wine list (finally, a place for proper wine in Paddo!) as well as the super friendly service. Maybe it was the midday red wine, the excitement, or it may have been the quesadilla that I didn't even think to take any more photo's at lunchtime. I figured I would be back soon, "Ill make my mental notes and take more proper photo's then".
Fast Forward to 6 or so hours later. After some after work Birthday drinks and pizza at the London Pub on William Street (another Paddington Favorite) I was back, and this time with Demos in tow. I simply could not resist going back and to share the excitement with my other half. We were worried that we would'nt be able to get a seat because the small space was completely full! The bar simply transforms at night, dimply lit by the lights behind the bar and the bottle cut outs on the wall and ceiling. I absolutely love the attention to detail that was put into the interior. After a 5 minute wait we were seated at the bar with a perfect view of the wine selection and the open food prep area. 5 minute wait on a Friday night? Pinch me i'm dreaming!
We start off with the Sweet Potato Crisps ($5.00) and the bowl was empty in about two minutes flat. Such a morish snack, a tastier but probably an equally naughty version of the Smiths Thins chips - but not as salty of course! It went so well with the wine we chose. Demos tried the Delas Cotes du Ventous 2007 a red wine from Rhone Valley, France ($10/glass) and I wanted to try the Moric Blaufrankish 2007 from Austria ($14/glass)
I spotted "Truffles" on the Menu again and this time its with the Chicken Terrine with Truffles and Pistachio and Pickles on the side ($13) A small portion, but still enough for two people to share and have a taste. The bread that comes with it is delicious - and looking around I notice that every dish comes with a different type of bread. This particular sourdough compliments the dish, which is packed full of flavour unlike some of the terrines I have tried before. Im glad we ordered this! Good things come in small servings!
Looking over the Menu, I still am a little bit confused as to what cusine this restaurant serves. Wine Library is the little sister of the very popular Buzo Italian restaurant in Woolhara, so there is a strong Italian presence. However, there seem to be a few mediterranean and spanish influences as well. One of the specials this evening was a Lamb Kafta with traditional Tzaziki ($3.50 /each). With Demothenis aka Iron Chef Greek proclaiming that this had to be one of the best Tzaziki dips he has ever tasted we knew we were on to a good thing.
The night is never complete until the Jamon comes out. Wine Library does a mean Salumi selection - The Embuditos Y Queso ($20) is a selection of cured meats with a cheese. It also comes with a serve of Pan Con Tomate, a crunchy toasted sourdough soaked in tomato, garlic and olive oil. The meats were sliced tissue paper thin and we received a selection of prosciutto, salami and coppa. Delicious indeed, although I would avoid this place if you are anti carbs because there is so much bread EVERYWHERE! No doubt we'll be back again - most likely this friday. It was a perfect start to an awesome birthday weekend.. and there will be more birthday meals to share. Its wednesday night and I still havent fully recharged (and digested) after the weekend of fun and food!
Its only mid-week and I find myself counting down to Friday. It feels like a longer than usual week, but at least I have another visit to The Wine Library to look forward to! If you are in the area, feel free to drop me a line - I will love any excuse to run over for a glass of red..or two.
Hey, don't judge me - i'm still on Birthday mode.
The Wine Library, 18 Oxford St Woollahra (02) 9382 1600
Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Late