In 2013, when Bentley relocated from Surry Hills to its new Radisson Blu location in the CBD, the team transported $500,000 worth of wine by themselves – mostly in GoGet cars. It says a lot about the restaurant: it’s serious, but not too serious, and not above the DIY approach. Award-winning bartender Phil Gandevia tends a list of booze-free drinks that’s both ambitious (a beetroot ‘wine’) and fun (barbecued pineapple with spices). Sommelier Nick Hildebrandt’s 1000+ wine library is just as forward-thinking and inclusive, while Brent Savage’s menu showcases both technical wizardry and the relationships with small farmers that keep their fridges full.
New restaurants are often in the spotlight, ready for their Instagram close-up. But Sydney is also home to a host of long-running venues that are still at the top of people’s dining hit lists – hell, Time Out has been writing about them from our very first issue, back in 2007. These establishments have stuck to their mission statement, offering great food with polish and personality. They’re safety zones that don’t give in to fast-breaking fads, but they can be progressive, too. Meanwhile, places like Sean’s Panaroma, Golden Century and Fratelli Paradiso show that it’s possible to stay timeless without coming across like a dusty museum display. These are the restaurants that have stayed vital over the last ten years and belong on the Sydney dining honour roll.
Want more top chefs? Check out our guide to the 50 best restaurants in Sydney.
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