Award-Winning Cocktail Bar Eau-de-Vie Has Reopened in Its New Home Three Years After Leaving Darlinghurst

Once 13th on the World's 50 Best Bars list, Eau-de-Vie is back, partnered with a luxurious new steak and seafood restaurant.
Ben Hansen
Published on May 24, 2023

Following the world-altering whirlwind that was 2020, award-winning Eau-de-Vie closed down, promising to return in the near future. While it's taken a little longer than expected, the sleek cocktail bar that was once 13th on the World's 50 Best Bars list has officially reopened to the public in Sydney's CBD.

The Speakeasy Group (Mjølner, Nick & Nora's) and its directors Sven Almenning and Greg Sanderson have revived Eau-de-Vie at the Brookfield Place development inside the Beneficial House site at 285 George Street. It will be joined by its lavish new sibling venue The Sanderson on Thursday, May 25, an equally flashy restaurant with a focus on steak, Australian seafood and wine.

"Eau-de-Vie is like our first child, we just have so much love for it! We looked long and hard to secure the new location, but the wait will be worth it," says Sanderson. "We really do see Beneficial House becoming a destination that our guests can spend an entire evening within. Aperitif cocktails at Eau-de-Vie, upstairs to The Sanderson for an amazing dinner, and then back downstairs for a whisky nightcap."

All of the class of the original Eau-de-Vie is on show at the new opening with moody lighting, a smooth jazz soundtrack, the signature Whisky Room and private whisky lockers within the building's basement.

The cocktails are built to impress, starting with the Hall of Fame section of the menu featuring Almenning's signature Smoley Rob Roy which combines two types of whisky, Diplomatico Mantuan rum, sweet vermouth and orange bitters before being served under a cloud of smoke.

There's also a tangy take on the Moscow mule made with yuzu curd and your choice of rare aged spirit, Eau-de-Vie's famous old fashioned served hot or ice cold, and the Espresso Zabaione which reinvents the espresso martini with cold drip coffee, maple syrup, saffron and vanilla mouse and a touch of liquid nitrogen. All of this is on just page one of the ten pages of cocktails on the menu.

A considered list of snacks, both raw (oysters, tuna tartare) and cooked (lamb croquettes, wagyu beef cheek pastry) are available at Eau-de-Vie, but if you find yourself hungry, you should head upstairs to The Sanderson.

The restaurant will both aesthetically and conceptually complement Eau-de-Vie, centring its menu around Australian produce from the land and sea. The menu is kept simple, only just spreading to a second page, but there are plenty of options available, from Fraser Island spanner crab salad and heirloom zucchini served with cashew labneh to a selection of six different steaks headlined by a 700-gram MBS4 sirloin on the bone.

"The Sanderson will bring together the many elements of 'celebration' that we ourselves love to enjoy with our friends and family," says Sanderson.

The Speakeasy Group joins the likes of Shell House, Romeo's, Edition Coffee, Gojima, NeNe Chicken and PappaRich in Brookfield Place.

Eau-de-Vie is now open 4pm–2am Tuesday–Saturday at 285 George Street, Sydney. The Sanderson will join it on Thursday, May 25, opening midday–late Tuesday–Saturday.

Published on May 24, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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