My birthday was back in March but I feel like I’m turning 44 all over again this week. Hurrah.
First, my sister took me out for a birthday dinner on Wednesday night. We’ve been trying to schedule it for months, but life – and school holidays – kept getting in the way. She’d bought one of those Groupon-style thingies for Foveaux restaurant in Surry Hills for us. We parked across the street from the restaurant and were just about to walk in 10 minutes early (at the nanna dining time of 6.20pm) when we spotted something called Button Bar next door (pic above).
I’ve since looked it up at Time Out, which describes it as: “From the guys that brought you Pocket and Stitch comes Button (hang on – is that… a theme?). You’ll find Christophe Lehoux and Karl Schlothauer’s new bar on Foveaux Street – right next to Red Door by Foveaux and across the road from the infamous KB hotel …”
I have no idea what they’re talking about, it’s a whole other world …
Time Out also says: “The dark, wood-panelled bar room is lit by candlelight, low-lit up-cycled amber glass light shades and furnished with big, padded leather booths. A large communal table runs down the middle of the space while big comfy bar stools are tucked along the bar, which is also adorned by hanging wooden baskets filled with fruit.”
Small bars hadn’t really gathered momentum when I stopped working in the city. Or if they had, I was too busy scampering home to the Sprogs to drink at them. So I was a bit dazzled by Button Bar. It was all glowy and busy inside, with mismatched light fittings hanging from the ceiling and a too-cool-for-school bartender. My sister and I settled at the “large communal table” – all the snazzy leather booths were full – and ordered a couple of pinot grigios.
The too-cool-for-school bartender delivered our pinot grigios to the table, along with a little bowl of pistachios in the shell. You don’t get that at your local pub! I looked around and wondered how Paul Keating has managed to convince himself small bars are the root of all evil in Sydney. I couldn’t see it – it seemed very civilised and renewed my desperation to open one of my own.
My sister and I perched on stools and felt like we were part of the in-crowd until we smelled something burning. Turns out my sister had placed her jacket over the ambient candle and set it alight. Oooops. The in-crowd glared at us disapprovingly. I think. I might have just imagined it in my frantic hope we wouldn’t set the sprinklers off and ruin the in-crowd’s fancy haircuts.
We skulled our drinks and headed next door to dinner, where we devoured crispy chicken wings with scallops and curly kale, mulloway, veal and a couple of glasses of riesling. The restaurant reminded me slightly of being in someone’s loungeroom, with its creamy carpet and art on the walls. But it was very nice to be out on the town.
What a lovely sister I have.
Today I’m heading to a trendy cafe in Rozelle for morning tea with a friend. I think she’s giving me my birthday present, after forgetting it last time she saw me. If she reads this and she’s forgotten again, not to worry, another few months won’t hurt.
So not only am I getting two Christmases this year (24 turkey sausages are in the fridge, ready to sizzle) but I’ve had two birthdays as well.
Pretty lucky, huh?