Don’t be misled by the glass doors of the Roosevelt in Potts Point. Inside, lies a portal to another era. Class and sophistication rule from the moment you enter and you’re ushered to a cozy booth or the velvet lounge facing the bar.
The Roosevelt is the latest venture from Sven Almenning of Eau-de-Vie Bar and Graham Ette of Etiquette Catering. The bar and restaurant and takes it name from the Kings Cross venue namesake that was owned by underworld identity Abe Saffron in the 1940s.
Dark wood interior with carpeted floors, wallpaper motifs at the bar and thick columns complement the art deco design with a touch of Hollywood glamour. A display cabinet with vintage cocktail glassware and shakers occupy a wall with a coveted collection of cocktail glasses lining up the windows. Jazz tunes set the right ambience at a venue where Frank Sinatra once performed and lamp-lit tables add a touch of mood lighting to a comfortably dimmed room.
The Roosevelt officially opened just over two weeks ago and regulars to Eau-de-Vie bar are likely to recognise Barry Chalmers, the Roosevelt’s Bar Manager, who was also instrumental in opening that bar as well as Phil Gandevia (Dr Phil), recent semi-final winner of the World Class Australia Competition.
You won’t find bar stools around the marble top bar. This is a bar where the action comes to you via the roaming nitro trolley.
The nitro trolley
“Cocktails on Wheels” serves up a selection of drinks such the Martini of Tomorrow, the Nitro Colada or Roosevelt Refashioned in three iterations. But this isn’t just about the show, the cocktails deliver on flavour and balance.
Ben McFarlane behind the nitro trolley
The making of the Martini of Tomorrow
Dead End (L) served in a flask and the Martini of Tomorrow (R) – Dates in chocolate sauce
If you like it strong and boozy, the Ricks Martini will hit the right spot while Mr Sin, named after Abe Saffron is aptly served from a gun. Make sure you finish with the Dead End, a cocktail with twosmoky Islay whiskies that comes served in an art deco flask.
Phil Gandevia preparing Ricks Martini
Mr Sin ready to be served…
… from a gun
Mr Sin (L) and Ricks Martini (R)
The Gaiety Cocktail
If you like your cocktails fresh and fruity, try the Gaiety Cocktail, made with Ketel One Vodka, yellow Chartreuse, pineapple, lemon and orgeat. And for a warming finish, choose the Graduate, with its absinthe-flamed balloon, made with Cognac, lapsoong infused vermouth and herbaceous liqueurs, it is smoky and sweet with the cherry taking on the flavour of the spirits.
The Graduate prepared at your table
The Graduate cherry
There is a choice of seven bar nibbles, including chocolate and wild berries, described as a “liquid nitrogen presentation combining hot and cold textures”. Hints float around that things may not be what they seem. The fetta and almond stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto are a divine taste and texture and come served in a decadent chocolate and red wine sauce.
Bar snacks are mere teasers to the offerings from the kitchen which opens tomorrow to a world of cocktail and food degustation. Through the door beside the bar, you’ll find a separate dining room with two communal tables of sixteen, and that’s where we’re told the unforgettable action will take place. A five course Cocktail Dégustation Dinner at the Roosevelt promises to be an innovate dining experience, and in keeping with the theatrics of the bar, one would guess that it would involve a floor show.
The Roosevelt is the kind of place that draws you in. You can drop in for a pre-dinner cocktail and stay for two, or finish the night on a stylish and sophisticated note. The vibe is classy and welcoming with top cocktails and stellar service to match. Much like the high standards that have been set at Eau-de-Vie, the Roosevelt offers a complete experience that you will long talk about.
Note: Our review of the Roosevelt Cocktail Dégustation Dinner is now posted.
32 Orwell Street
Monday-Sunday 5pm until midnight