Good times at Redfern's Bart Jr.
There's not a whole lot going on at the sleepy intersection of Redfern and Pitt Streets, but if you had to have one lively restaurant that ticks the boxes for atmosphere, food and service, be very glad that Bart Jr. happens to be right here on the corner.
As Lorrie and I had met for lunch, we decided that the good looking menu deserved to be fully explored, something we couldn't hope to accomplish on the one visit being just the two of us.
Feeling sensible, we started with a cocktail each (it was Friday after all), and decided to make lunch out of their appetizers. We promised to be back with friends and partners for a further explore of the main courses.
Normally, I'd only post a review based on a complete foray of the menu, but the appetizers and the one veggie dish we ordered were so extraordinarily special, that it is obvious the modus operandi here is to offer only incredibly delicious tastes.
Miso chickpea fritters anyone? Yes, we'd have some please. Arriving topped with curls of translucent prosciutto, the mild flavours of the fritters contrasted deliciously with the salty parma and the garlicky aioli. We were off to a very good start.
Our anchovy toast was one of those moments which I infrequently have: where I'm happy to pull down the shutters and leave ... because how can you top this moment? Yes, THAT good. Plump white anchovies on toasted hunks of bread with a slather of sweet tomato confit butter and sprinkled with aleppo pepper. Read that slowly and imagine.
The tostadas arrived at our table and a passing thought occurred: too pretty to eat? Ah, no! The fried pastry base a perfect vessel for the fresh and light kingfish ceviche tossed with onion and robust citrus flavours were not hard to make disappear. The little dollops of wasabi mayo adding piquancy with the crunch and heat. Not too pretty to eat at all.
We couldn't resist the description of the brussel sprouts and it arrived, not disappointing what it promised on the menu.
Sweet and tangy flavours intertwining, and served up with twists of shaved golden persimmon, the little sprouts were tender to the core but charred and crispy at the edges; perfection, in fact.
Our cocktails were...... so good! Does it say anything about our most enjoyable long lunch if I tell you I cannot provide details except that they were spot on, not watered down like so many restaurants think they can sneak away with, and generous in proportion. The pretty colours of our drinks complemented the eye-catching fresh produce which made up our plates, and as we sat in the airy, buzzy space with big windows overlooking the street on a sunny winter's day, we agreed it was a very good lunch date indeed.
Bart Jr. is owned and operated by talented chef George Woodyard, Amanda Baxter and Anne Cooper and while you now have an idea of the food served, Bart Jr. is also essentially a wine bar, with a variety of beers and an innovative selection of cocktails. The liquor menu changes often, like the food, keeping regular visits fresh.
The mains imply simple and honest food; braised meat cuts, slaws and pastas. Look more closely at the descriptions and you'll quickly understand that the mouth watering mains earn their wildly popular reputation from thoughtful innovation rather than smarty-pants pairings of flavours and textures.
Service is deft, knowledgeable and friendly.
92 Pitt Street, Redfern
Note: Thank you dear Lorrie for shouting me to lunch. What a piglet I was, ordering like I hadn't eaten in a week!