"We’re putting sexy back into sherry," says beverage expert Brett Harris. "We want to change the misconception that it's only a drink to pour for your grandmother."
On September 26, Harris (of El Topo and Hello Sailor) and cuisine creative Nelson Burgos (Mamasita and Foley Lane) will open the doors to Fino Par, a brand new Spanish-inspired restaurant/bar in the Sydney CBD. Harris, who's previously been responsible for tequila menus that would put Hunter S. Thompson under the table (think El Topo), is ready to reintroduce Sydneysiders to sherry — as we've never seen it before.
"From the lighter Fino styles to dry Manzanillas and the surprisingly nutty-flavoured Amontillados, these fortified beauties are ready to be resurrected," Harris explains. The bar will also be home to what we're pretty sure is Sydney’s first-ever barrel-aged sangria.
In the food department, we can expect a similar fusion of old and new. Burgos, whose creations you might have explored at Foley Lane or Mamasita, will be bringing his famous Montaditos to the table. Never one to settle for reruns, Burgos has given the tapas staples a makeover — think innovative new combos like pickled white anchovies and fennel. Other promised tasty morsels range from classics such as embutidos (cured meats) to adventures like octopus Carpaccio and smoked oysters with tomato granita. All dishes will be served up on Spanish tiles, handcrafted in bright colours.
"The main focus behind the menu is to pair classic Spanish dishes with incredible local produce," says Burgos. "Creating simple modern dishes with big flavours, capturing the essence of Spain."
Harris and Burgos have invited The Gentry to create an industrial chic interior — Spanish street art against cement walls and etched steel floors, with a bar patched together out of recycled timber. Soundtrack-wise, you can expect '70s soul, English mariachi and, of course, a steady stream of Spanish tunes.
You'll find Fino Par on the corner of Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets. The tapas menu will be served from midday and from 7am there'll be a stand-alone breakfast and brunch menu, offering the likes of steamed milk buns with jamon, confit tomato and Murcia cheese. If you don't have time to stop, you'll be able to grab a coffee and Churros from the external cafe on wheels (or cafe sobre ruedas, as the Spanish would call it). Fino Par will keep things intimate with seating for just seventy — that’s forty-five in the restaurant and twenty-five in the bar — all dedicated to walk-ins. Bookings won't be an option.