Bottleneck Bar & Eatery, Darlinghurst

If you’ve wandered down the hallway on the way to Eau de Vie Bar inside the Kirketon Hotel, you may have noticed a recent change. The space once occupied by the Art Lounge has been transformed into Sydney’s latest small bar.

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
Bottleneck Bar & Eatery, Darlinghurst

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery is the third Sydney bar from Sven Almenning of the Speakeasy Group after Eau de Vie Bar and the Roosevelt.

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
Communal table

The decor is abundant in dark wood with exposed brick and a touch of taxidermy bringing a quirky element to the venue. You can perch yourself at the bar or against the back wall, share a communal table, sit in an inviting booth in a small group, or take up one of two intimate “kissing booths” with black curtains.

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
Cosy booth

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
“Kissing booths”

Eau de Vie Chef Elliot Vonthethoff has created a modest but tasty menu divided into Balls, Sides, Sweets and Blood Marys. You’ll find dishes such as classic grass fed beef balls with tomato sauce and grana padano ($9), a creamy corn polenta ($7), a wickedly rich fresh bread with gravy butter ($2) and a twist on a ploughman’s plate with the Bottleneck Board ($24) – all delicious and freshly made comfort food.

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
Clockwise from top left: Bloody Mary, Fresh Bread with Gravy Butter, Steamed Corn Polenta, Classic Beef Balls

The menu will soon include a small pickleback list, a daily special and additional salads and side dishes. The Classic Balls, which you can spice up with Cholula hot sauce, Harissa from Tunisia or the Glass Eye Wild Meat Sauce will remain on the menu every day.

“I’ve grown up with meatballs,” Sven Almenning explains. “It’s a weekly staple at home in Norway, and so when we came across some dedicated meat ball bars in New York, we thought we’d create our own very small twist on this at our new space.”

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
Bloody Mary (Maria)

The idea behind the Bloody Mary is attributed to the bar team at Eau de Vie Bar which is renowned for its strong cocktail focus. Three Bloody Marys ($16) are on offer. Choose from the House Mary made with vodka, the Snapper made with gin, or the must-have Maria, made with Calle 23 Tequila, a house-made tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, lemon and a Mezcal float. Maria has a strong spicy kick with a lingering heat making it a sensational drink at any time of day or night. You’ll also find a range of boutique beers and spirits.

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
Rodney Bottleneck, the mascot (left)

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery brings a unique concept to Sydney in small bar and casual dining. The mood is relaxed, intimate and a little quirky. Come for the Bloody Marys and beers and stay for the meat balls. And when you’re ready to leave, don’t forget to wave goodbye to Rodney, the albino raccoon and bar mascot.

Bottleneck opened for business on Wednesday 23 January 2013.

Update June 2014 – Bottleneck has now closed and Eau de Vie Apothecary has taken its place

Bottleneck Bar & Eatery
229 Darlinghurst Road
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Open Mon to Sat 12:00 pm – 1:00 am

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.