Love Tilly Devine, Sydney, Australia – Review

.tags Love, Tilly Devine is a tiny wine bar hidden away in a small laneway in Darlinghurst. It’s hard to find unless you looked up the exact directions in advance (like I did). The sign outside tells us that we have to wait to be seated. We are led up the stairs to a wooden table. This is probably the smallest and cutest bar I’ve seen in a while. It only seats 40 people – so it’s definitely not a standing around kind of bar. A waitress places a small plate of olives on the table and helps us choose wine from the very extensive wine list. And with very extensive I mean 300+ wines!

The wine menu is astounding. One page is dedicated to wines by the glass. The rest of the twenty or so pages are devoted to wines by the bottle. The wine categories are according to the taste of the wine, not the type of wine or grape. For example, one category of the white wine is “Challenging, Unusual, Idiosyncratic”.

The menu proclaims that it’s the Summer of Riesling. It’s very confronting when I read this in the introduction for the Rieslings:

1.Riesling is the best drink in this bar. 2.Riesling is the best drink in any bar.

Ironically, we don’t try any Rieslings. The waitress recommends a Gewurtztraminer for me, which I get a glass of, and absolutely love. In fact I love it so much that we get a bottle of it after finishing my glass. The others opt for a bottle of red (also suggested by the waitress). She knows her stuff. We’re very pleased with her choices.

The decor in this bar is relatively minimalist, but very charming. It has a slightly industrial look to it with its brick walls. Some walls are painted, some aren’t. Chalkboards with wine suggestions adorn the walls. The venue is dimly lit, even though 3 large domed lights hover above us. Chilled out music plays in the background.

Our waitress tells us that here wine is the main event, and the food is only an accompaniment. Not the other way around, like in most other venues. And it’s true. The food menu is limited and the dishes are small. But it doesn’t bother me. The bar’s motto is “To eat well is to live well”, and I wholeheartedly agree when we order a few things off the food menu. The crostini of duck’s liver pate with onion agro -dolce for $ 3 is so great that I get another one soon after. And the Buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto and figs ($ 18) is the perfect balance of salty, sweet and soft.

I think I’m in love with this wine bar. I can’t praise it enough. What a great find!