Carlisle Bar, Potts Point
Last Wednesday, Boyfriend and I attended an exclusive blogger event at Carlisle Bar in Potts Point. We, along with a whole bunch of Sydney food bloggers, were invited by Carlisle Bar for a cocktail and tapas degustation to launch their new menu.
Carlisle Bar is located on Kellett Street and was “inspired by the luxe bar experience of up-town Manhattan”. This is reflected in the cocktail and food menu as well as the interior which features a range of different textures and materials including dark carpeted floors, blue-tinted lighting, bird cages, exposed beams and marble tabletops.
When we arrived we were all given name tags (with our blog names) which was a great way to interact with other bloggers and put names to faces. We were also given a glass of champagne.
The night also kicked off with shared plates already waiting on the tables. These included tortilla chips with fresh avocado, coriander, chilli and fresh lime; The Carlisle Plate – a trio of dips, marinated olives, feta, crusty bread and pita; and Vegetarian Teasers – chargrilled eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes and olives with pita and crusty bread. Arriving straight from work and starving, Boyfriend and I had a great time taste-testing all these snacks.
From here, we were told that we’d receive four tapas courses with an accompanying cocktail. The menu was designed by celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas and combined a mix of Asian and Mediterranean flavours. The bar manager Benjamin Hickey took charge of the cocktail menu, using ‘old New York’ as inspiration. The cocktail menu featured modern takes on old classics including martinis and Old Fashioneds. To top off the evening, we were treated to live entertainment from singer Angelina Ciccotti and her guitarist Adrian Petlevanny. They covered popular music and were really good.
The first course was grilled haloumi topped with purple grape and balsamic reduction.
We were told that this haloumi would be good. Why? Because the haloumi is made by an 86-year-old grandmother who uses real milk (as opposed to powdered). She distributes her haloumi to only three people in Sydney. Luckily for us, one of those people is The Carlisle Bar’s executive chef Chrys Xipolitas.
The haloumi arrived and it looked delicious, but did it live up to the hype? Yes, it absolutely did. I’m pretty sure that is was the best haloumi I have ever tasted. It was so creamy and the grape and balsamic reduction contrasted perfectly.
The cocktail with this course was the Clover Club – aviation gin with lemon, raspberry and egg white. It was delicious and very strong.
Next up, we had a lightly floured and fried prawn cutlet served with three dipping sauces – sweet chilli plum, soy teriyaki and wasabi aioli. This was also very delicious – the light flouring added texture without making the dish too heavy and the flavours were awesome.
The cocktail was Eastside Fizz – Beefeater gin with lime, mint, Perrier water and sugar. This was probably my favourite cocktail of the night. It tasted a bit like (alcoholic) homemade lemonade to me and it was super easy to drink.
Our third course was spicy chicken thigh fillets which had been marinated in the chef’s secret sauce and barbecued. Whatever this secret sauce was, it was just delicious. This chicken was moist and so flavoursome.
The third cocktail was South of the Border – tequila and Mezcal with passionfruit, lime and vanilla. If you love tequila you’d love this cocktail.
Our fourth and final course was the beef tenderloin rolled in mixed peppers, barbecued and served medium rare with a bourbon jus and garlic crisps. This was also delicious and the meat was flavoursome and very tender.
The cocktail was Blood & Sand – Chivas, Cherry & Herring, Antica Formula, Ardbeg and fresh orange. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of Scotch so this drink wasn’t for me but Boyfriend loved it and I’m pretty sure it cured his cold.
All in all, it was a really enjoyable evening. The food and drinks were great, the atmosphere inside bar was great and having the opportunity to mingle with other food bloggers was also great.
Would I go back? Sure would.