News, Culture & Society

Monopole is named Australia’s 2022 Gourmet Traveller Wine Bar of the Year

A romantic French bistro run by one of Australia’s top sommeliers has been crowned the country’s best wine bar.

Tucked in the heart of Sydney CBD, Parisian-inspired Monopole was named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Wine Bar of the Year at a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.

Once housed in a moodily lit basement, the restaurant recently moved to a new location complete with floor-to-ceiling windows which can be flung open to create an airy terrace, perfect for post-lockdown summer dining.

Co-owned by award-winning chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, the venue takes limited reservations to accommodate curious passersby who stumble upon it while wandering the city.

A romantic French bistro run by one of Australia’s top sommeliers has been crowned the country’s finest wine bar

Tucked in the heart of Sydney CBD, Parisian-inspired Monopole (pictured) was named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Wine Bar of the Year at a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

Co-owned by award-winning chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, the venue takes limited reservations to accommodate curious passersby who stumble upon the bistro while wandering the city

Tucked in the heart of Sydney CBD, Parisian-inspired Monopole (pictured) was named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Wine Bar of the Year at a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

The European bistro offers a three-course sharing menu for $90 per person

The European bistro offers a three-course sharing menu for $90 per person

Hildebrandt has been crowned Australia’s best sommelier more than once, but the humble connoisseur simply refers to himself as ‘the wine guy’.

It sounds lavish, but Monopole offers upscale dining at a surprisingly affordable cost.

Premium Australian vintages including WA Savagnan from Heretic are available from $12 a glass, and there’s plenty of fun to be had for less than $100 a bottle. 

The restaurant serves a three-course sharing menu for $90 per person, with dishes including yellowfin tuna and sweet corn custard vol-au-vents to start, rump steak in a red wine jus for main, and blood orange tart for dessert.

Diners have left rave reviews online, with many saying there is ‘nothing to fault’ from the ‘exquisite’ food to the ‘impeccable’ service.

‘Another amazing dining experience at Monopole with fabulous food, excellent wines and service. Always a pleasure to travel to Sydney for a memorable and pleasurable dining experience,’ one man wrote. 

Standout dishes include yellowfin tuna, sweet corn custard vol-au-vents, rump steak in a red wine jus and blood orange tart

Standout dishes include yellowfin tuna, sweet corn custard vol-au-vents, rump steak in a red wine jus and blood orange tart

The wine bar boasts rave reviews online, with diners saying there is 'nothing to fault'

Happy customers have praised the 'exquisite' food and 'impeccable' service

The wine bar boasts rave reviews online, with diners saying there is ‘nothing to fault’

Sydney rock oysters (pictured) can be ordered for $5 each

Sydney rock oysters (pictured) can be ordered for $5 each

Another added: ‘One of the best dining experience I’ve ever had.’

In the midst of Sydney’s 15-week lockdown, Monopole set itself apart by creating a special Bastille Day menu in honour of the July 14 holiday that promised to take diners on a tour of France from the comfort of their own home.

The menu, made up of ‘almost-ready’ dishes simple enough for cooks of all skill levels to assemble, included starters of potato and leek soup and trout baguettes, a main course of confit duck cassoulet and a layered chocolate cake slathered in raspberry sauce for dessert. 

In the midst of Sydney's 15-week lockdown, Monopole created a special $140 Bastille Day menu in honour of the July 14 holiday that took diners on a tour of France at home

In the midst of Sydney’s 15-week lockdown, Monopole created a special $140 Bastille Day menu in honour of the July 14 holiday that took diners on a tour of France at home

Elsewhere in the annual awards, an intimate farm-style eatery with just 30 seats was crowned Australia’s best restaurant of the year. 

Tedesca Osteria, set in an early 20th-century weatherboard house overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, VIC, was on Sunday named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year.

But diners looking to make a reservation will have to wait to get a table until 2022 as the restaurant confirms it’s officially booked out until the end of 2021.

This farm-style eatery with just 30 seats has been crowned Australia's best restaurant for 2022

This farm-style eatery with just 30 seats has been crowned Australia’s best restaurant for 2022

Tedesca Osteria, set in an early 20th-century weatherboard house overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, was named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year at a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

Tedesca Osteria, set in an early 20th-century weatherboard house overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, was named 2022 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year at a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner spent more than a decade dreaming of opening the restaurant, which seats between 30 and 35 diners for intimate, slow-paced lunches.

‘Tedesca sprung from something I’d been thinking about for a long time,’ she said.

‘I grew it in my heart, from my thoughts, from conversations and how I like to cook.’

Gourmet Traveller praised it for being ‘sophisticated and elegant yet operating in a way that is both humble and intensely personal’.

Tedesca Osteria serves a fixed menu dining experience for $155 per head. A typical menu might consist of antipasto, hand made pasta, a seafood course, a meat course and dessert, but this will change with the seasons.

Gourmet Traveller praised it for being 'sophisticated and elegant yet operating in a way that is both humble and intensely personal'

Gourmet Traveller praised it for being ‘sophisticated and elegant yet operating in a way that is both humble and intensely personal’

Tedesca Osteria offers a fixed menu dining experience for $155 per head. A typical menu might consist of antipasto, hand made pasta, a seafood course, a meat course and dessert, but this will change with the seasons

Tedesca Osteria offers a fixed menu dining experience for $155 per head. A typical menu might consist of antipasto, hand made pasta, a seafood course, a meat course and dessert, but this will change with the seasons

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner (pictured) spent more than a decade dreaming of opening the restaurant, which seats between 30 and 35 diners for intimate, slow-paced lunches

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner (pictured) spent more than a decade dreaming of opening the restaurant, which seats between 30 and 35 diners for intimate, slow-paced lunches

The restaurant has received near-perfect Google reviews, with many customers calling it ‘the best dining experience’ of their lives.

‘We love this little space so much, we don’t even know where to start. The food is to die for and the open kitchen feels so warm and inviting, it’s like dining at a friend’s house in the Italian countryside. This place is an absolute gem,’ one diner wrote.

Another said: ‘Incredible dining experience. Felt like a beautiful meal in someone’s impeccably designed home.’ 

While one added: ‘This was one of the most delightful food experiences we have had. The food was fresh, innovative and a beautiful balance of flavours and textures. Staff were highly proficient and most welcoming. A must if you visit the Peninsula.’

2022 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Award winners

Restaurant of the Year: Tedesca Osteria, Red Hill, Victoria

Restaurant of the Year state winners: Tedesca Osteria (Victoria), Saint Peter (NSW), Fico (Tasmania), Millbrook (WA), Restaurant Botanic (SA), Elska (Queensland), Pilot (ACT)

Chef of the Year: Daniel Puskas from Sixpenny, Sydney

Best New Restaurant: Gimlet, Melbourne

Best New Talent: Jung Eun Chae from Chae, Sydney

Restaurant Personality of the Year: Sharon Romeo from Fino, SA

Best Destination Dining: Oaks Kitchen and Garden, Queensland

Best Wine Bar: Monopole, Sydney

Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality: Amy Chanta

Gourmet Traveller's 'Celebration' December issue is on sale now

Gourmet Traveller’s ‘Celebration’ December issue is on sale now 

Gimlet, Andrew McConnell’s restaurant set in 1920s-era Cavendish House in Melbourne’s CBD, won Best New Restaurant, while Jung Eun Chae of Melbourne’s Chae restaurant was named Best New Talent.

Daniel Puskas of Sixpenny in Sydney was named Chef of the Year, in the night’s only peer-voted award. The restaurant pivoted to a successful bakery model amid the state’s lockdown.

‘This year has been enormously challenging for the restaurant industry but it has also sparked new depths of creativity and resilience, particularly from our restaurant award winners,’ Gourmet Traveller editor Joanna Hunkin said.

‘As Sydney and Melbourne reopen and regional travel resumes, what better time to celebrate the joy of dining out and the people who make it so special.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk