Dear Sainte Éloise makes poetry out of food and wine

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Dear Sainte Eloise share plates.

Dear Saint Eloise is a wine bar to muse the night away.

This Potts Point wine bar is that place you go to chew the fat with your mates over the dining table, indulge in a date tucked into its intimate wine room or bask the afternoon away seated out front as you watch life go by on Llankelly Place laneway in the bustling inner city suburb of Potts Point in Sydney.

The wine bar’s name is a nod to a book published in 1933 by English author George Orwell called ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’, which centres around the theme of poverty across the two cities.

“Dear Sainte Éloise, if you exist, please send me some money. I don’t ask for much – just enough to buy some bread and a bottle of wine and get my strength back,” the writer had penned – words since chalked across the blackboard centrepiece of the bar.

The prose, illuminated by dim lights, sets the tone for an evening of rumination

Andrea: The prose, illuminated by dim lights, sets the tone for an evening of rumination.

Indeed, knowing the destitute societies Orwell drew attention to in his book has me feeling a mixture of gratitude and guilt I can do this over aromatic glasses of wine and cuts of meat in the cosiness of this lovely restaurant.

DEAR SAINT ELOISE FOOD

Rex: Dear Sainte Éloise is certainly a contrast to the setting of the book with our appetites kicked off by fresh sourdough bread and butter, and warm olives.

The wine bar is more or less about share plates and I like that this lets us choose a range of creations and order as little or as much as we want.

Roe boats, Mr. Cannubi's Fiocco and Pino's wagyu bresaola at Dear Saint Eloise.
From left to right: Roe boats, Mr. Cannubi’s Fiocco and Pino’s wagyu bresaola.

Andrea: I like what comes next: the roe boats – crispy potato bites topped with salmon roe – except there’s only one each!

Rex: I think one is enough – we’ve got more dishes on the way.

Andrea: Next up are the cured meats: Mr. Cannubi’s Fiocco and Pino’s wagyu bresaola.

Rex: Mr Cannubi’s Fiocco is a ham that comes from larger sows which have a solid fat covering. The Australian wagyu bresaola is richly marbled and dry aged in spices. It comes from Pino Tomini Foresti and his wife Pia who are based in Kogarah in Sydney. I’m a fan of the wagyu as I prefer its dried, slightly chewy consistency to the more wet texture of the ham.

Ocean-infused potatoes appear an unusual combination but I enjoy trying dishes in reimagined forms.

Andrea: But I really like the potatoes that were grown in nutrient-rich seaweed roasted in dashi butter and topped with Yarra Valley Caviar salmon roe and crispy sea lettuce.

Ocean-infused potatoes at first appear an unusual combination but I enjoy trying dishes in reimagined forms.

Rex: Really? I don’t like it so much. The sea-themed marinade drowns out the natural earthy tone of potatoes. What I do like, however, is the 250g Black Angus sirloin, Jerusalem artichoke and horseradish dish. It’s a good cut and it’s cooked to tender, juicy goodness.

Filling up with Black Angus sirloin and seaweed-grown potatoes with dashi butter and crispy sea lettuce at Dear Saint Eloise.
Filling up with Black Angus sirloin and seaweed-grown potatoes.

Andrea: This wine bar puts a great emphasis on food (much appreciated) but it still has a wide array of beverages – from champagne to rose, to red, white and orange wines, to sake, and spirits and cocktails.

No surprises on my end: I accompany our morsels with a sake: Fukuchiyo ‘Nabeshima Gohyakumangoku’ from Saga, Japan – a floral and honeydew melon junmai daiginjo.

Fukuchiyo 'Nabeshima Gohyakumangoku' from Saga, Japan, has refreshing flavours.
Fukuchiyo ‘Nabeshima Gohyakumangoku’ from Saga, Japan, has refreshing flavours.

DEAR SAINT ELOISE AMBIANCE

Rex: A night at Dear Sainte Éloise is a relaxed affair. The dishes are no-nonsense and the ingredients speak for themselves.

Andrea: I feel like we could almost be at a friend’s dinner party, complete with a vase of native Australian flowers on our timber dining table.

Rex: I appreciate the sort of culture head chef Hugh Piper fosters by supporting emerging chefs in the area.

Starting from March this year, Piper is giving up-and-coming chefs the chance to create their own menus on the last Monday of every month.


Head chef Hugh Piper is giving giving emerging chefs the chance to create their own menus.

The initiative, dubbed the Supper Series, began with Simon Drolz-Cox from 10 William Street up the road in Paddington. It’ll be followed by an evening with the creations of Victoria Scriven from Paperbark. In the pipeline are Anna Ugarte from Momofuku Seiobo and Sam Woods of Edition and Chaco Bar.

SERVICE:

Andrea: The service is good! The waitstaff are friendly and chatty, and pretty helpful if you’re not sure what wine to choose. Andrea

Rex: The bar also provides both still and sparkling waters for free, which is a nice touch.

Andrea: Dear Sainte Éloise’s food is good quality – and although its portions are a good size for me, I do have a relatively small appetite so perhaps others may be disappointed if come here expecting a huge meal.

Rex: The food is good quality and its prices are pretty standard for Sydney. It’s not a cheap eats but it’s not about to break the bank either.

Andrea: I’m looking forward to coming here again for either a date night or a fun catch up with some friends.



Dear Sainte Éloise | $$
5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point, NSW

Opening hours
Tue-Thurs: 5:00pm-12:00am
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm-12:00am
Sun: 12:00pm-10:00pm

Experience more culinary adventures at Two Chat Food and follow us on Instagram @twochatfood.

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