If you’ve been patiently waiting for the plastic bags covering the former Bar Reggio Lounge windows to come down on the corner of Crown and Stanley Street—your Mediterranean dining dreams have finally been answered.
Taking over the iconic and freshly renovated Darlinghurst corner space is Bar Nina, an all-day Italian wine bar and restaurant from the team behind Redfern’s Arms Length bar. Rebecca O’Shea (ex-Rockpool Dining Group) and executive chef Jeffrey Sue are riding the success of their popular Inner West venture, which opened mid-2020.
With Bar Nina, the pair are bringing a neighbourhood-focussed venue headlined by friendly service, house-made pasta, cocktails, and even fresh-brewed coffees for your morning routine. With a bright indoor space splashed in Sevilla-inspired sunset orange and outdoor tables catching the afternoon sun setting over the bustling Darlo streets—this might become your new favourite spot for a relaxing arvo drink.
In the kitchen is head chef Luke Davenport (The Ledbury, Notting Hill), and the Italian-inspired menu is simplistic and designed for sharing—as any good Italian meal should be. Open from 8am to 12am, pop in for Little Marionette coffee and pastries in the morning. Then, from 12pm, choose from small plates like creamy burrata served with beetroot, pickled fennel, and pistachio; rotating fresh pasta dishes like fettuccine with slow-cooked duck ragu bianco, or rigatoni with cherry tomato, stracciatella, and pangrattato; or really fill that hunger with more substantial plates like whole baby snapper with cherry tomato, capers, and burnt butter.
To finish, we highly recommend topping off your meal with one of Italy’s greatest gifts to the world: a creamy, chocolate-dusted slab of tiramisu.
While delivering the usual cocktail classics for traditionalists, Bar Nina is also putting a funky twist on a couple of recipes. Try “La Nina”, Bar Nina's vibrant and bright blue Mai Tai; the Mediterranean G&T with rosso vermouth and Four Pillars olive leaf gin; or the Tanqueray Sevilla gin sour. As for vino, you can expect an eclectic range of styles and regions, from funky Aussie drops showcasing the country’s finest, to some European classics, old and new.
Make sure you pop through from 4 - 6pm for the daily happy hour serving up $7 craft beer schooners and house wines, with $10 margaritas and Aperol spritz.
Feel like you’ll struggle with selecting from the Mediterranean cuisine on offer or just looking for a taste of everything? Bar Nina has you covered. On any given day, you can opt for the sharing set menu ($59) and go on a culinary journey guided by Davenport, featuring a generous handful of menu favourites.
And, if you’re in over the weekend, there’s no other option than to indulge in the weekend bottomless long lunch set menu ($79), which comes with a two-hour drinks package, including unlimited prosecco, wines, and Pirate Life craft brews on tap. But, to take that Saturday lunch to another level, throw in $10 more for bottomless espresso martinis and margaritas. You know you want to.
For more info on Bar Nina, including opening hours, head over here.
Now, check out Sydney's Godfather-inspired late-night cocktail bar Apollonia.
Image credit: Bar Nina