I am loving showing off Sydney to visitors (hint, COME VISIT ME) and this past week was no exception. After meeting up with a fellow Seattleite friend-of-friends on Sunday (I actually have no idea how we managed to not meet when I lived in Seattle, considering the overlap of multiple groups of friends), we extended the party through the week.
We met for happy hour at Baxter Inn on Monday. I may have mentioned the Baxter Inn before, since this wasn’t my first visit, but have I also mentioned the insane collection of whiskey and bourbon available at said bar? Here is a snapshot (stolen from the internet, sorry) of just one half of the shelves behind the bars. Except for the the first row of bottles, the rest is whiskey, scotch, bourbon, etc., etc. So for my Kentucky friend, is this enough evidence of bourbon for you to get your ass in gear and move here already??
We migrated to dinner in Darling Harbour, which was average (it’s a bit touristy) and a little gross when we were joined by cockroaches midway through the meal.
Last night was a solid evening of Sydney CBDs best. We started at Baxter again (I think the selection and the ambiance impressed our visitor), then decided to find a place to have dinner. We were joined by a third Seattleite this time who has been here for the past two years and was quite the connoisseur of Sydney fine dining. He directed us to Felix restaurant, a French place in the infamous Ivy building (home of many a party I’ve attended so far). For a Wednesday, it was packed, so we smiled and tried to look as pretty as we could for the host, who promised to find us a table if we’d sit and have a drink at the bar while he worked some magic. I ordered an old standby I love, a gimlet. It’s very retro and 60s and is easy to mess up, but when it’s made well, it’s incredible. And our bartender wasn’t just some sap on his working holiday visa, he was truly a master of his trade. It was one of the best-made gimlets I have had in recent memory.
Our table opened up and we had the hardest time deciding what to eliminate from what looked to be a delicious menu. I finally settled on barramundi (Australian whitefish), and my dining companions chose duck confit and lamb pie. We also cracked a bottle of wine from the Gigondas region, which the sommelier assured me was similar to my favorite, Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, without the nasty price tag. I mean, it was a Wednesday, right? Though it was pricy enough that Ernest would still be proud.
Friends, let me tell you, the food was as amazing as the cocktails, and the wine wasn’t bad either. And you should read that as everything was amazing. We capped our meal by splitting two decadent chocolate/peanut butter confections that would make you cry with happiness (I would have been choking back tears if it weren’t for my mouth being crammed full of the stuff).
Since it was our visitor’s last evening in Sydney and we were already in the Ivy, we headed up to the pool bar for a nightcap. Here’s an idea of what it’s like there (can you say, summertime pool parties? Because I can). Bottom line, you should probably come visit, and soon.