In a building adorned with some of the most striking images in the country, it’s a clever designer that made this restaurant a stark, minimalist space. Floor to ceiling windows let in the only thing that could possibly compete – nature – with a striking aspect overlooking Woolloomooloo and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Of course being an art gallery first, and a restaurant second, it should be no surprise that menus here revolve around what’s on display. Since ‘Picasso’ is the name on everyone’s lips right now, they’ve taken a Spanish-inspired jaunt, obvious in entrees like Sardines with Manchego Crumbs, Sorrel and Radicchio ($22), but less apparent in Beef Carpaccio with Nasturtium Flower, Goat’s Curd and Confit Lemon ($23). The latter is a light, interesting combination that (quite pleasantly) conjured lemon meringue for me. Spanish Pearl Barley with Wild Mushrooms, Zucchini Flower and Murcia Al Vino ($28) let down the silky mushrooms and creamy goats’ cheese with overcooked pearl barley. Eschew desserts for a Selection of Spanish Cheese with Fig Chutney and Muscatels ($22), mostly as an excuse to linger over well-priced wines, like the 2009 Plantagenet Omrah Rosé ($39/bottle). After all, appreciating obscure art is often easier with lubrication. A ‘Lunch with Picasso’ ($75/ 2-course) package is available via Ticketek.
Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9225 1819 www.artgalleryrestaurant.com.au
Modern Australian $$$$