Winter is a time for hot chocolates, for cold nights and warm fires — and for systematically destroying your summer bod by eating as much comfort food as your heart desires. Yep, as the temperature drops, our hankering for winter food rises in an undeniable symbiosis. And not just a venue for balmy nights, the Valley's Alfred & Constance is just as good at keeping you cosy as it is cooling you down with an ice-cold one.
As always, the bar's eats are perfect for sharing with friends, perhaps over a jug or two of their tasty cocktails. Available in The Vanguard beer garden, you'll find a selection sure to fuel your next winter afternoon or evening out.
For sharing, you can't go wrong with their pulled pork tacos, Moroccan meatballs or fennel sausage rolls with spicy tomato sauce. And for the equivalent of an actual hug in a dish, their wood mushroom and truffle gnocchi is every bit as decadent as it sounds. Don't commit to sharing that one. The superfood salad presents itself as a vibrant mass of kale, roasted veg, red quinoa tabbouleh and pomegranate. Take that, every winter cold going around.
Keeping in with the salad theme you would be hard pressed to pass over the freekeh salad, topped with squeaky grilled haloumi and roast peppers, with toasted pepitas for texture and crunch. Grilled salmon comes nestled on a bed of puy lentils and walnut, and is finished with goats' cheese, while the beef short ribs are sticky, smoky perfection. Oh, and do yourself a cheesy favour and save room for the baked camembert. Order it with your mains for an oozy treat.
For dessert A&C have kept things simple — choose from apple crumble with vanilla ice cream or a chocolate brownie with nutella ice cream. But it's by no means simplistic. There's something very comforting about sweets done right, with no fanfare. Just honest food. So snag a spot at one of their garden table and settle in — no matter what the season, you won't be disappointed.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22: This Wednesday, November 22, Alfred & Constance is serving up $1 slices of pizza from 5pm. Pepperoni, margherita and smoked chicken varieties will be available at this one-off pizza frenzy.
Images: Francesca Owen and Oliver Black.