27 August 2010

Time to Vino: Wine Bar, Darlinghurst (20 Aug 2010)

66 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Now moved to: 14 Kings Cross Road, Potts Point NSW 2011

Time to Move

Time to Vino is a rather quirky bar serving quality wines where you find yourself wanting to straighten the crooked picture frame on the wall upstairs — the owner loves to keep it crooked on purpose. Downstairs is noticeably more crowded and noisier than upstairs where you can at least hear your conversations. Coming up to 2.5 years they’ll soon be moving up the road into new premises towards the Victoria Street eat street part of town. Thanks to Amy from CookBookManiac for organising tonights dinner catchup with other food bloggers, friends and partners. For a set price of $60 we were treated to a 3 course dinner starting with a selection of ‘waiting for friends’ antipasto style tapas, a main dish each and then finishing with a cheese selection. Originally it was described as all ‘waiting for friends’ dishes, shared mains and included cheese and sweet desserts but for some reason there was no sign of dessert. I find the website menu a little confusing because it doesn’t show any prices except for function packages so I’m not sure if you can actually order individual menu items or if you have to purchase a complete 3 course menu package when dining.

Since our food ordering was simplified we spent most of the time working out what wine to have — so many choices. I went with the waiters recommendation of a 2008 Brumont Sauvignon Blanc, France ($51 bottle) which was nice to start and followed up with a 2009 Te Mata, Hawkes Bay, NZ ($16/250 ml) during the main dishes which was also lovely. They certainly seem to have nice wines but if you’re looking for a cheap glass or bottle there’s a limited choice for the budget conscious. The ‘waiting for friends’ dishes were well presented, individually portioned and combined interesting flavours like the Chorizo with ruby grapefruit and Pork with pear — prized crackling was found. My Lamb ragout, tomato and parmesan with orecchiette was enjoyable but for some reason I was expecting the meat to be more like il baretto’s falling apart duck ragu — my mistake. The generous sized Veal shank with brussel sprouts seemed to be a hit although I wasn’t a real fan of the Squid ink risotto with cuttlefish and truffle oil mainly because it was black (I know it’s supposed to be) and I thought it needed a more noticeable truffle taste kick. The Cheese Plate had a nice selection of tasty choices.

I love how all the cutlery doesn’t match, the use of wine crate labels around the bar and on the toilet door hinge, and how they bought the huge display cabinet for only $15 on eBay which reminds me so much of how Pocket Bar bought most of there seating. It gives the bar a quirky character with lots of charm and shows off the owners personality. Although I’d hate to be sitting at the side table upstairs where you can hardly fit your legs underneath making it so uncomfortable and awkward for any couple that sit there as we noticed during the night.

PROS: Quality wines, Nice food, Quirky and fun décor, Efficient service
CONS: Expensive wines, Upstairs cold in winter due to no proper window, Can get noisy downstairs
MUST TRY: Visiting their new premises when they open

Warm Bread served with Assorted Olive Oils & Salts

'Waiting for Friends' share platter $60 including a main and cheese plate

Pork with pear

Mushroom with cheese


Chorizo with ruby grapefruit


Lamb ragout, tomato and parmesan with orecchiette

Squid ink risotto with cuttlefish and truffle oil

Veal shank with brussel sprouts

Side lettuce salad to share

Cheese Plate with Guava Paste, Fresh Pear: Trinity Cellars hard cheese, Tallegio Italian White Mould cheese, Frome el Aire French blue

2008 Brumont, Gros Manseng Sauvignon Blanc, Gascogne, France $51 bottle

2009 Te Mata, Gamay Noir, Hawkes Bay, NZ $16 (250 ml)

Upstairs seating. No proper window insulation to keep the winter cold out.

Crooked picture frame — to torment the customers.

Non matching cutlery

Glass cabinet $15 on ebay

Toilet details

Side table and chairs — where do you put your legs?


Notice the lease sign

Original location:

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New location:

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Time To Vino on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Ooh looks delicious! Will definitely have to try when they open their new place.

The crooked picture frame makes me laugh though! So mean.

Mark Simonds said...

Where's the new place going to be?

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

It wasn't too bad was it! The veal was definitely the winner! thanks for the company, it was a fun night ;-) x

john@heneedsfood said...

Yeah loved the veal shank and that NZ pinot noir was great. Good to see you again!

Rebecca @InsideCuisine said...

COOEEE Simon - Didn't quite know what you meant by 'mismatched' cutlery 'til I saw the - antique and vintage - pics ... gives it quite a homely feel? @frombecca

OohLookBel said...

Um, were we at the same dinner? My photos are all dark and blurry! Good to see you there, though.
And I didn't realise the cutlery was mismatched, only that I have a teaspoon at home in the same design :)

Simon Leong said...

hi melly, the owners love making it crooked so guests feel they need to straighten it. apparently the record in one night is a guest straightening it 3 times hehe

hi mark, i don't think it's been confirmed as yet but i'm sure we'll hear about it very soon in SMH Good Living or on this blog even sooner i hope ;-)

hi maria, was good catching up with you again. i wish i had ordered the veal shank. maybe next time.

hi john, the pinot noir was nearly as good as the chophouse dinner one but not quite. see u around like a pork chop!

hi rebecca, my parents used to have a few sets of the styles i saw that night. made the place quite homely indeed with those little touches.

hi bel, i think we were at the same dinner hehe but i think i benefitted from being down at the slightly lighter side of the table perhaps. and i also used my flash because it was so dark which at least gets the shot rather than having a very dark and unrecognisable image. i think i have a few of the styles of cutlery at home as well. too funny. :-)

slowcooked said...

Hey Simon, photos look great and makes me wanna go back there next time in town! Used to live just down the road from there, regretting not going there more often! Here's my post of it: http://d0ublecooked.blogspot.com/2009/08/time-to-vino.html
Thanks for the great post Simon!

Simon Leong said...

hi slowcooked, glad you enjoyed your experience. let's hope the food is just as good if not better at their new location :-)

Miss Feathers said...

I love the whole crooked picture frame thing. I checked out the new place last night, and it's got quite a different vibe. But still a great place to go. The cheese is still amazing and I love their wine list. The staff are so knowledgeable and helpful. It's a bit darker and slightly more clean cut that the last place, but still has character once you're inside. I would recommend a seat at the bar!

Simon Leong said...

hi miss feathers, i noticed the new place the other day. seemed a bit different from the outside and in a weird area — dodgy lane way. good to hear the cheese is still amazing. i thought the last place was pretty dark so must be really dark now. sitting at the bar is always a good choice to watch the bar staff and people watch the crowd around you :-)

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