Daniel Pepperell knows how to put together a dish. His pretzel with whipped bottarga at 10 William Street is a Sydney classic and remains on the menu years after his departure, and his ability to make trippa alla romana (tripe) both palatable to the masses and taste like butter chicken (at Alberto’s Lounge) shows his prowess and versatility. Now, after leaving the Swillhouse Group last year – where he oversaw Restaurant Hubert and Alberto’s Lounge – Pepperell is setting up a Parisian-style bistro in Potts Point. It’s taking over the Challis Avenue space that until recently housed Merivale’s Lotus.
Bistrot 916 is slated to open later this week, and will see Pepperell return to French fare, à la Restaurant Hubert. He’ll be joined by some stellar talent – chef Michael Clift, who worked in the development kitchen at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in England and at various Rockpool Dining Group venues for eight years, and well-respected sommelier and restaurant manager Andy Tyson, Swillhouse’s former group sommelier.
The diner will serve a menu of pared-back, seafood-focused dishes that hew closely to French-bistro standards.
“There’ll be shucked [and] chilled oysters; raw shellfish served on ice; steak au poivre and duck frites; as well as some less familiar dishes like boudin noir [blood sausage] spring rolls, or handmade pasta dressed in garlic and snails,” Pepperell said in a statement.
Tyson’s wine list will favour young French producers, with a particular focus on grower champagnes, white burgundy and drops from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region of south-eastern France. New Aussie producers will also be included in the mix.
“I never get tired of making new wine lists,” said Tyson in a statement. “There are always new producers doing new, exciting stuff. Wines are just getting better and better.”
Bistrot 916 is slated to open on February 5. Bookings are now open.