Ash St Cellar
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There’s a little touch of Paris to this laneway wine bar
You may well be able to lob a tennis ball from George Street to this quiet pedestrian alley but you wouldn’t know it from the relaxed pace of the punters stopping in for a glass of wine at this little bistro. Decompress out in the breezy laneway or up at the bar where French house featuring atmospheric horns keeps the vibe on a low simmer and devote all your remaining energies to the wine menu. They have an internationally diverse, by-the-glass list that lets you sample the wines of Austria, Romania, South Africa, Greece, Argentina, Germany, the US, Chile and Slovenia, in addition to Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand. And the best part is they offer tasting glasses for half the price of a full pour so you take a little tour without breaking the bank. Depending on the weather and the day you’ve had they might steer you towards a bright, fruity Domaine de Beavernay gamay from Beaujolais, or possibly a ribolla gialla from Friuli. There’s not much to the operation here. The open-plan space spills out into the lane and the wine is stored up high in black timber racks. The kitchen can sort out a serious hunger with lamb cutlets or grilled spitchcock, but a rich, golden toastie with jamon and truffled gruyere will also stop hunger in its tracks.