Lovers of quality vino, make Double Bay your next stop. In February, we introduced you to Mistelle, a slick new joint on Kiaora Lane. And now it's found itself in some esteemed company, with brand new venue bibo joining the harbourside suburb's wine bar set.
bibo is brought to you by two Guillaume expats: head chef Jose Silva, who ran the kitchen at the previous incarnation of Bennelong, and restaurant manager Jonathan Mallet, formerly of Guillaume in Paddington. Pooling their years of fine dining experience, Silva and Mallet have decided to focus on premium quality (yet not too pricey) Mediterranean dishes, with an emphasis on Portuguese food, which Silva grew up eating and cooking. "It reflects the way I like to eat," Silva says. "You can come in for a snack and a glass of wine or a full meal."
Among the menu's Portuguese classics, you'll find bacalhau (salted cod) croquettes, runner bean fritters and clams Bulhão Pato (aka clams in white wine), as well as Portuguese tarts from Silva's Petersham bakery, Sweet Belem. For more contemporary palates, there are braised Rangers Valley short ribs and bone marrow with anchovy crumb. Taking care of the drinks list is head sommelier Louella Mathews (ex-Rockpool Bar and Grill), with her trusty assistant, Ambroise Moriceau (ex-Momofuku Seibo).
"Every wine chosen is from a different region, with a different climate, soil type and tradition," says Mathews. "We are offering guests a selection from the best sites in Australia and around the world." In addition, bibo has exclusive access to a very special private cellar, containing a selection of aged Australian Shiraz, Cabernet and Cabernet blends, including a small collection of Penfolds Grange vintages 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984.
"We have compiled a special museum release section in the wine list and have begun our own provenance program. This will allow us to list a wine at its ideal drinking age and ensures that guests are drinking wine that has been kept under optimal conditions," Mathews says.
bibo's New York-inspired interior — layered with dark wood, marble and textiles — is the work of Paul Jones of PJ Architects. The main bar overlooks leafy Bay Street, but there's also a large outdoor terrace and an upstairs private room.