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Succumb to the whims of appetite and thirst at Neutral Bay's pocket-sized wine and tapas bar, Firefly. Be charmed by glass, plate and surrounds in an inviting atmosphere conducive to socialising and educating the palate, where the well-heeled gobble and sup to contentment. The extensive wine list reads like a travel brochure – discover the drops of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Argentina and home – with an ever-evolving list of approximately 143 wines, and 23 by the glass. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the days for exploration, when wines not usually available by the glass are opened for the adventurous. Petite and packed, this delightful street-corner bar features patches of sandstone and splashes of paint, below which wooden floorboards and stone tiles wear the daily grind of guests. Petite tables jostle outside and in while strangers mingle at the communal bench, and Firefly's buzzing bar commands the wandering eye.
White-clad waitstaff led by the amicable hostess Laura buzz through the space, guiding guests through the menu and matching tipples to tapas. The wine list veers past spirits, cocktails and even offers a thoughtful few for the designated driver, ensuring all leanings are met. Roasted beetroot makes bedfellows of fetta, walnuts and mixed leaves, or try the smoking hot cauldron of chilli and garlic prawns. Firefly's "infamous" zucchini frites with sumac compete against the likes of salt cod croquettes with salsa verde, and sizzling lamb, merguez and eggplant skewers, while the slow-cooked barbecue beef short rib proves a satisfying stomach-liner. Groups of four or more are wise to munch on the shared banquet, ensuring a varied taste of the menu. Vanilla bean pannacotta is sweet to finish, or put the wine ladder to good use and keep those wines flowing.