Oh OK...So as much as I wanted to keep this place a secret it is only fair that I eventually write these guys a review as it is clear I just can't have it all to myself! I was at the bar last night (again!) and am never disappointed... So here's my story:
I've been going to Small Bar since opening a year ago and like a fine wine this bar just gets better with age! As per the comments below, the lower north shore has been crying out for a place like this, but that doesn't mean that anyone can just open a 'small bar' and expect it to be good. Smallbar is lucky to have such a great space, especially the courtyard area (non smoking now by the way) but there is a vast amount of love that goes into the this place - Lee & Steve are two of the best bar managers I have ever come across which means you are always made to feel extremely welcome.
The wine list is not overly complicated, always has a beautiful selection that I try to make my way through (!) and is really decent value. This is not a trendy, over priced establishment full of pretentious people, more homely, relaxed & a place I feel comfortable meeting up with my girlfriends to catch up. Get there early to make sure you can grab a seat, any evening during the week now past 8-8.30pm and the place is usually full in my experience.
My only criticism would have been that the food might not have been on a level with the rest of the operation, but this has just been changed (I think they actually listen to their customers!) meaning their new selection of 'smalls' tapas style dishes are now fantastic and this has been done without a hike in prices!
So the only thing left to say is thank you Small Bar. Keep up the good work - I love you x
Fantastic cosy little bar with a gorgeous outdoor courtyard out back. 2 bars - one in the courtyard and one up the front means you don;t have to wait to long to get served. They have a great wine menu with a range of prices to keep everyone happy. And lots of yum tapas-like snacky dishes on their menu. Apparently they also have more substantial meals but we didn't get to them. Live music plays on Sunday afternoons out in the courtyard - great way to chill out on the last few hours of the weekend. thoroughly recommend this place - just wish there were more like them on the north shore - we need some in neutral bay / mosman!
I love this bar! It is the first small bar to open in the lower north shore and has instantly become a success, so much so that it is now virtually impossible to get a table! Come any time after about 5.30 on a Friday night and dont expect to be getting a table for at least an hour.
But if you do manage to find a corner, I suggest you settle in and enjoy the ride! As is usual with a wine bar, the wine is the focus of the drinks menu, although there are a few good beer options, but if you are a spirit person I would suggest going up the road to the pub. The pinot gris is delicious, just the thing for a Friday night drink. Get a bottle, grab some friends sit back and enjoy! The wine comes in a variety of prices, starting at about $6.50 a glass, so it is possible to have a few drinks and still have change out of a $20 note.
The food is also good, and comes in 2 kinds, bar snacks and more substantial main meals. The snacks are great for picking at and sharing, to soak up some of the alcohol. The warm spinach and cheese dip is a great one to start with, a delicious pool of gooey cheese and spinach with bread and corn chips to dip. The arancini, quesadilla and hot chips are all worth a look in as well. Of the bigger meals I have only tried the chicken burger, but it was good, fresh and loaded with flavor, great if you have found a table and dont want to move!
Exactly as Andi said, Sydney is missing bars like these! It's got a great vibe, great, friendly service and it's a nice little spot to have a quiet drink without having to scream at your companion over the music.
I haven't tried anything off the menu as yet as my last visit was a quick glass of wine before dinner, but I a looking forward to returning to order some food.
Sydney is missing more bars like these... what a perfect spot for my friends and I last night. Great service (as well as easy on the eye!), relaxed atmosphere, great music and the food was delicious! The courtyard out the back is also a winner...
I look forward to seeing more bars like this pop up around the place!!
What a great bar! Love the wine garden out the back, a great spot for during the day but the candles make it so lovely at night. The food was awesome too - my friends and I shared a few 'smalls' - cheese plate, pate, chicken skewers and the cheese / spinach dip was yummy! The staff were all really nice, they took good care of us... filling up our wine glasses to a level which I'm sure other bars don't serve!
This is a very casual restaurant, that serves very fresh seafood, and the meals are very generous sizes. They are a little overpriced, however. They have outdoor dining, which is wonderful on a warm summer night, especially when you feel like relaxing over your meal with a glass or two of wine.