Although saying goodbye to Pei Modern's ricotta dumplings and cracking Chardonnay selection has been one of the toughest calls of 2017, we do, at last, have a replacement. From today — Thursday, July 20 — Francesco Mannelli (ex-est., Balla, and Uccello) has settled into the space on the ground floor of the Four Seasons Hotel as head chef of Mode Kitchen & Bar.
Like Pei Modern, the restaurant will fall somewhere between bistro and fine dining. On the menu are simple dishes based on Mannelli's favourite produce, such as kingfish with the surprising addition of macadamias, sultanas and pickled onion, risotto heaped with fresh Tasmanian truffle and a melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef cheek with chestnuts and cabbage. Match your choice with a pick from the 200-strong wine list or go for a cocktail such as the Negroni-like Contessa, which swaps out Campari with Aperol for a lighter finish.
ACME designer Luchetti Krelle — who is also behind the fit-outs for Bar Brosé, Banksii, The Butler and Barrio Cellar— has taken care of the interior for the 200-seater with a glamorous, 1920s art deco-inspired revamp. The entire restaurant is now encircled by fluted glass, giving it an intimate feel and, most importantly, successfully separating it from the hotel foyer. The furnishings include flashes of velvet, dashes of brass, marble and leather, as well as a variety of seating options, including bar stools, lounges, banquettes and semi-private spaces — meaning you can stop by for a drink, a group dinner or a spanner crab sandwich between meetings.
Mode Kitchen & Bar is now open on the ground floor of the Four Seasons, 199 George Street, Sydney. It will be open lunch and dinner seven days a week. For more info, visit modekitchenandbar.com.au.