It’s been a week since restaurants and cafés were given the green light to reopen, and excited customers began returning to their favourite haunts. (Check out our updated list of dine-in restaurants here.) But before you start making your weekend plans, know that there are several spots that opened recently, or just before lockdown, that may have slipped under your radar – including new additions at the Dolphin Hotel and the Ivy precinct. In case you missed it, here are the new places worth checking out.
Chef Ben Shemesh has made the jump from European-inspired wine bar Dear Sainte Eloise to this European-inspired sandwich shop in Potts Point. Along with co-owner Emily Van Loon, he’s bringing a continental seriousness to the art of layering fillings between two slices of bread. There’s a separate sandwich menu for breakfast and lunch, as well as two specials, with a handful of soups and salads to boot. Since it is a deli, they also sell many of the gourmet ingredients that go into the made-to-order sandwiches, including Iggy’s bread, house-made pickles, cans of Spanish sardines and Reuben Hills coffee. 166 Victoria Street, Potts Point; smallsdeli.com.au
The newest Merivale property gives chef Simon Zalloua (ex Rockpool and The Collaroy) a chance to explore his Lebanese heritage, down to the decor reminiscent of a 1960s Beirut kebab shop. Falafel is the star of the menu, which also features influences from around the Middle East such as Israeli sabich (pita stuffed with eggplant, hard-boiled egg and hummus) and Egyptian ful (a fava bean dip). There’s a takeaway kiosk at the front serving pitas, wraps and plates. But take a seat at one of the retro booths to sample the mezze—including an authentic kibbe nayeh, a sort of Lebanese beef tartare—and charcoal-grilled meat and seafood. 312 George Street, Sydney; merivale.com/venues/jimmys-falafel
The Dolphin Wine + Food Store
The Dolphin Hotel has launched a retail arm in the form of an in-house bottle-O and providore, open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 10pm. There’s a serious selection of natural wines from producers such as Radikon and Shobbrook, as well as what wine director James Hird describes as “rare B-sides” including back vintages. Don’t be intimidated: there are plenty of bottles around the $20 mark that pair well with a bowl of pasta or a meat pie, according to the tasting notes. The store will also stock pastas, sauces, cheese, charcuterie, freshly made focaccias, finish-at-home meals and other groceries. 412 Crown St Surry Hills; dolphinhotel.com.au