This mostly monochrome environment allows the beauty of colour to shine. My eye is caught by the red banquette; dazzled by the vivid blue neon of a confronting Julie Rrap; enchanted by the golden curls of daughter Lily Bilson, a shining beacon of warmth on a restaurant floor that allows her to use her art and anthropology majors to good effect. It’s two blocks (and a hundred miles) from Bilson’s. A Pheasant, Pork and Foie Gras Terrine ($21) is served up rustically on a wooden board, against cubes of pheasant consomme jelly and Dijon mustard. A contrasting entree of Boudin of Crab with Pine Mushrooms ($21) is totally autumnal – three columns of pale creamy crab wobble delicately on a forest floor of beautiful pine mushrooms. Both dishes intertwine nicely with the 2005 Mitchelton ‘Airstrip’ Marsanne, Roussanne Viognier ($70) – a great winter white. Lily’s recommendation, the Ballotine of Spatchcock with Foie Gras, Sweetbreads & Mushroom Risotto ($35) is everything I want in one dish; the mushrooms are cooked achingly well. It’s only surpassed by the Crème Caramel with Strawberries and Champagne Jelly ($14) which transports the ordinary into the extraordinary via texture, clarity and restraint. It eclipses a fractionally over-sweet Raspberry Soufflé ($18); but no matter, my senses have been stroked by beauty, my hunger soothed.
Number One Wine Bar
1 Alfred Street, Goldfields House, Circular Quay
Ph: (02) 8252 9296 www.numberonewinebar.com