Chef Justin North (Bécasse and Etch restaurants, Plan B, Le Grand Café, Charlie & Co., Bistro Moncur) has taken the reigns at the newly opened Sofia in Redfern. Occupying the space above the beautifully refurbished Bar Cleveland, Sofia is the latest in a swag of Sydney restaurants named for beloved family members including Margaret, Jane, Manon, Lola's, Ursula's and RAFI in North Sydney.
Named for the grandmother of co-owner Sophie Bousgas, the restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, with lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The share-style Mediterranean menu will be an ode to the family’s heritage, and is inspired by traditional homestyle dishes, the focus remains on the quality and seasonality of the locally sourced produce, elevated further by the venue’s grill.
While more casual than many of North's former haunts, a few fine-dining aspects have snuck onto the menu, like the beef tartare with garlic emulsion. In addition, the wagyu flat iron with king mushrooms and pearl onions is finished with a flourish of red wine jus.
Guests can get a little taste of the family's home with pomegranate cured ocean trout, which comes with their own extra virgin olive oil, made from the family’s olive groves in Greece.
The vast open-plan space is warmed with burnt-orange banquette seating, heritage wooden floors, white table tops and homely curtains adorning the windows. Designer Tamara Prochnik from Stomp Studio and craftsman Heath Dyer tackled the heritage-listed space to make the old new again to beautiful effect, the only thing that could make it better is a signature cocktail and some warm olives.