The Phoenix Hotel in Woollahra recently opened its doors once again with new owners and a fresh refurbishment.
Three brothers Andrew, Alex and Cooney have brightened the location and brought a comprehensive wine, cocktail and craft beer list as well as Mediterranean-influenced dishes with a focus on tasting and sharing. Will is the Operations Manager, Alex is Partner and Andrew is the mixologist offering delicious cocktails such as the fluffy phoenix (grapefruit juice, passionfruit, Liquor 43, vanilla, $18) and the strawberry mojito (Australian Stolen Rum, strawberries, $16).
The layout separates the two distinct areas of bar seating and dining with the bar in-between. Both areas retain a casual yet professional charm. The former can be used for functions of up to about 50 people while the dining area can handle events for 40. There’s a banquet table with room for ten and a cosy lounge area complete with fire. In an uncommon (and very clever) move, you’ll find USB ports everywhere! The bar seating and other tables that adjoin the walls all make charging your phone easy.
What was originally a hotel/pub is now closer to a wine bar in concept and design. “The idea was to integrate both food and wine together” said Will, and this is evident in the bar itself which displays the beverages interspersed with fresh produce and leads directly to the open kitchen. It becomes a theatrical performance, especially watching the chef become inspired and head to the bar to grab lemons or chillis to add to dishes.
Speaking of the chef, the man in charge is Nick Alexeeff who has previously operated at Brown Sugar and Panama House (click for my previous reviews) as well as his own Bistro 345 in regional Thirroul, NSW. Despite his Russian background, his current inspiration is the Greek heritage of the three Cooney brothers which he adds his own flair to.
For example, the spinach and cheese pastry ($12) takes the traditional spanakopita but Nick uses three cheeses (kasseri, gruyere, feta), mint, pepper, butter and dill. It’s a must try! Now that I mention it, I can recommend everything that I sampled and the reasonable prices and sizes of the dishes encourage them to be shared. It all makes for a great atmosphere.
As well as the dishes that I tasted, you’ll also find beef carpaccio ($18), mezzethes plate ($17) and Greek salad ($12) just to mention a few as well as sides such as hot chips ($7), sweet potato chips ($9) and the Phoenix dipping board ($12).
Believe it or not, the bar seating area is actually dog friendly which I think is a fantastic idea. As you can tell, Phoenix Hotel offers a very warm and welcoming environment so if you’re in the area or need an event hosted, I can highly recommend it.