Forresters is reinvented
The Norfolk/Abercrombie/Carrington crew have done it again – they’ve launched another drink and dine venue to draw hipsters in droves. This time they’ve taken over the old Forresters in Surry Hills, the city’s original $5 steak hotspot, and turned it into a good-times bar with old-school-style Italian eats.
So what’s new? Well, let’s start with the added third floor, joining a massive space that’s a maze of stairs and nooks. Picture ceilings covered in grass skirting, rusted wagon-wheel candelabras, and bric-a-brac paintings.
Some elements seem lifted from sister venues, like bloody Marys in tomato tins (hello Norfolk) and chequered banquets (so Abercrombie), but follow the Chianti bottles and faux grapes up the stairwell, and you’ll see a connection to the red-sauce, Italian-Aussie-American menu. Front and centre are thin-crust pizzas, maybe topped with meatball, salami or a quirky combo of nduja, taleggio cheese and mashed potato that somehow works. Or splash out on the $50 “Payday Pizza”, topped with lobster, truffle and truffled salami.
Truffle-snorting aside, most of the menu’s targeted at chipsters (cheap hipsters – you heard it here first), from affordable pastas like fusilli bolognese or gnocchi duck ragu, plus daily-changing $28 rotisseries, from goat to lamb. Or start with small plates like baked clams with prosciutto ‘crumb’ or balsamic ribs, and consider NYC-style subs like meatball or brisket, and mains like pork, prosciutto and stewed-capsicum ‘sausage and peppers’.
Beers and wine are cheap and cheerful, joined by Italo-infused cocktails like the Troubled Waters: a concoction of gin, Amaro, Punt e Mes and tonic. Yes, this is pub for the next generation, so if you need a break from Sydney’s small-bar revolution, here’s one with a bit of style.
Where: 336 Riley St, Surry Hills
Hours: noon-midnight Mon-Wed | noon-1am Thu-Sat | noon-10pm Sun