Published in Broadsheet
You’d forgive a city known for dappled light and harbour views for being a little suspicious of moody, intimate wine bars. Where’s the fun in knocking elbows across a pint-sized table, when you can sip a pinot grigio in the afternoon sun? But if you visit Vini, a Surry Hills enoteca with a regional bent, you’ll be convinced there’s really nothing better than leaving the world outside.
Opening doors in 2006, Vini has survived an onslaught of pop-up venues and places to be seen, drawing a stream of foodies and locals with a classic trifecta: great wine, honest food and warm, attentive service. The revolving menu conjures the flavours and textures of a dream Italian holiday, grissini, proscuitto and plump, green olives making way for slow-cooked secondi and an inspired wine list.
Vini’s fixed-price regional dinners are something of an institution, offering four courses plus wine for a tidy $50. The first of chef Andrew Cibej’s small bar ventures, Vini proves that that original is sometimes the best.