Is everyone starting to feel the winter chill? I must admit, this weekend certainly confirmed that winter is here! Temperatures are dropping, the sun is setting a lot earlier and its so tempting to want to stay indoors and hibernate until spring. However, winter is the perfect time to venture out! Crazy I know, but I can promise you, winter is where you can brave the cold, head out and try some new venues.
I recently attended the winter menu launch at the very quaint, yet very cool, The Cottage Bar & Kitchen in Balmain. If you have never been and not sure what to look out for, you’ll be greeted by quite literally, a cottage slap bang in the middle of Darling St. Fairy lights are dotted across the alfresco area out the front and once you enter the bar & kitchen, you’ll instantly feel warm, cosy and a little fuzzy inside. Cute vintage style knick-knacks and art works are placed all throughout the cottage, giving it a homely and inviting feel.
So what about the food and drink? Well, we were treated to a brand new winter menu, designed by head chef Ellen Young. We feasted on some delicious dishes, including roasted cauliflower with pulled lamb shoulder, raisins and vinaigrette; maple & cider beef brisket with celeriac crisp and horseradish cream; arancini of tomato, smoked mozzarella and parmesan; mushrooms stuffed with barley, dried fruit, herbs and chevre; and Yellowfin tuna tartare with beetroot relish, apple, pickled fennel, dukkah. I was completely blown away by the never ending supply of freshly shucked oysters served at the oyster bar, which were the perfect starter. To finish, we nibbled on on an extensive selection of European cheeses.
Offering an extensive cocktail menu, The Cottage Bar & Kitchen is even the perfect venue to catch up with friends for a few drinks. We were presented with some brand new cocktails created by co-owner Osman Misirlizade, all of which used fresh ingredients and have impeccable presentation – there was the Speyside Sour which consists of Glenfiddich 12 year and ginger liqueur lengthened with lemon juice, honey water and finished with orange bitters; The Slow Cuban which is a twist on the mojito, including Plymouth sloe gin shaken with pressed mint and lime and charged with soda; and the Lemon & Basil Gimlet consisting of Citron vodka & limoncello shaken with fresh basil, lemon and lime. It certainly was a treat for the taste buds!
The Cottage Bar & Kitchen not only offers delicious food and cocktails, but is the perfect venue to explore during the winter months – whether you are on a romantic date for two or holding a big birthday bash with friends and family, you’ll certainly be catered for. It offers such a warm and friendly ambiance. After your first visit, you’ll see why it is such a hit amongst Balmain’s trendiest.
So next time you’re ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’ about whether or not to venture out, put on a brave face (and your best winter coat) and live a little. summer will be here in no time, so we might as well make the best of it!