Benchmark Wine bar
65 Northbourne Avenue
CANBERRA ACT 2600
An excellent meal from start to finish shared with two friends. Bookended by complimentary appertizers and pre-dessert courses, we shared six tapas-style dishes all prepared with good technique and ingredients. The anchovy crostini, cuttlefish and foie gras were particular standouts.
Service was helpful, friendly and attentive throughout the meal.
The wine list is fantastic, unsurprisingly for a wine bar, with some marvellous Chianti Classico wines available.
While the restaurant furnishings are basic, as befitting a wine bar, the space and tables are very comfortable. Most importantly, there is excellent spacing between tables so you are not forced to intrude on other tables’ private conversations.
The prices are consistent with the most expensive restaurants in Canberra ($45 for duck liver pate? Ouch!) so the restaurant is definately not priced for casual visits unless one is there only for a glass of wine and perhaps one or two tapas dishes. However, the prices are not unreasonable when the quality of the overall meal is taken into consideration.
PORK BELLY with pickled daikon and alpine pepper
ORTIZ ANCHOVIES on crostini with truffled salsa
ZUCCHINI FLOWERS stuffed with goat’s cheese, finger lime and capers
CUTTLEFISH with a thai pomelo salad and fresh coriander
DUCK LIVER lafitte ‘foie gras de canard’ with fig sauterne sauce
SAUSAGE PLATE with lamb merguez, beef tomato and onion, veal and herb, pork, fennel and white wine sausages, served with tomato chutney