If last year’s Van Gogh Alive exhibition had you pining for the roving lavender fields, and the pretty scenery, light, and colours of Provence—a brand new deli-meets-bar in Newtown could be precisely the culinary cure you need.
Pistou popped up on South King Street in mid-December last year. It’s a fresh, romantic, French-inspired spot from Jules Bouillon, whose experience includes being a part of the team that opened the legendary Balthazar in London and, more locally, NOLA Smokehouse and Bar and Glorietta in North Sydney.
“I’ve always wanted to open a venue and create a space where our guests can feel like family—where the team becomes part of the community—and also where I can bring something of my own French heritage to Sydney,” Bouillon said in a statement.
Designed by Amy Mcleod, Pistou is rustic with rosewood pink walls, baskets of fresh bread, and a large cabinet stocked with charcuterie and pickles.
In the kitchen is former Glorietta head chef Katie Morris and the menu heroes a weekly rotation of seasonal cheeses, charcuterie, freshly made dips, and sandwiches—the sort of things you’d expect to snack on while rolling around a French vineyard. Pick something up to take away (Sydney Park is a short stroll away), or pull up a seat and stay awhile.
On the weekends, Pistou opens a little earlier for brunch, and “choose your own adventure” brunch plates are available to order. The offering is a little different from your typical Sydney-style helping of avocado on toast too. Instead, pair pickled octopus carpaccio with goat's cheese, cornichons, chopped kale, fresh tomato, and a sweet potato and cashew condiment. Oh, and a Bloody Mary, of course.
The wine list has been pieced together by Tilly Sawrey (Buffalo Dining Club) with a focus on minimal intervention and natural wines from Australian, French, and Italian winemakers, with a few other extra internationals in the mix too.
Cocktails are kept seasonal and simple too and change up almost daily, meaning you’ll need to visit more than once. There are currently three to choose from—an elderflower spritz, a slightly stronger gin and peach drink made with RinQuinQuin, a traditional Provençal aperitif, and a roster of fresh juices too spiked with your pick of spirit.
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Image credit: Pistou