The latest Cinderella venue story is a North Shore club going from scuzzy to stylish
The lure of a great trivia night isn’t what it used to be, which is why the Alcott now has a swanky Spritz bar, watercolour painting workshops and wine on tap to bring all the locals to the yard. The Lane Cove Club was a fluorescent-lit boozer that hadn’t been frequented by the under sixties set in decades, but now it’s the Alcott, a redux brought to you by the folks that did up the Greens in North Sydney. Yes, it’s still a club, so if you live within a five-kilometre radius, you’ll need to sign up for membership, but it’s $10 and includes five free drink vouchers, so the real winners are residents of the 2066.
Make a beeline for the relaxed terrace balcony, with wide wooden tables and 30-plus potted cacti and succulents lining the perimeter. It’s the best spot to approach the five Spritzes (yes, there’s Aperol, but also a stone fruit number with plum wine, plum puree, thyme and bubbles) and nine cocktails on the list. Take note: the wine list hovers well above standard RSL offerings. You can go from a one-litre carafe of Riot Wine Co’s fresh and supple savvy b on tap; right through to more interesting by-the-bottle options from Greece, Spain or Tuscany.
Gone are wedges with plastic pots of sweet chilli. In their place are crunchy bites of paprika-spiked cauliflower, ultra-fresh slices of kingfish dotted with bright pink beetroot labne, or a light orb of burrata in a country garden ground base of crushed peas and pesto. The highly styled plates match the interiors, which feature fleece throws, copper finishes and modern block-print paintings. It’s a catalogue of 2018 interior trends permeating all three levels.
It you’re coming here for a mid-week schnitty or steak, re-think your approach. There’s no schnitzel on the menu (the chicken salad is decent) and the rib eye is well seared and juicy but costs $30 with green beans (no chips or potatoes – they’re an extra $8 each). They haven’t priced it for a casual protein fix. Similar story for the twice-cooked, heavily seasoned lamb ribs – they’re delicious but too fatty a cut to eat without any reprieve from a crisp leaf or two on the side.
The Alcott has gone all out on the swish interiors and modern menu and there’s not much in the way of old club atmosphere. But that’s nothing to mourn, with the venue appealing to the changing demographics of the greater suburb, from mum’s clubs to young professionals. Head in on a Sunday arvo for live music and a carafe of wine on the terrace, and you’ll make the most of the new bells and whistles without worrying about the lack of schnitzel or well-priced steaks.
|Venue name:||The Alcott|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 11am-11pm; Fri 11am-midnight; Sat 11am-midnight; Sun 11am-10pm|