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Crouching on a bustling street corner in the CBD, this delightfully intimate wine bar lures in the suits and socialites for wining and dining of a weekday or Saturday night. Just a skip from the cusp of Darling Harbour, this charming sliver of Europe delights with soft light playing on rough bricks and polished wooden floorboards beneath the feet. Walls lined with bottles nod to the extensive selection for which de Vine is praised, spanning continents with sought-after drops available by the glass and bottle. Opened in 2002, de Vine has garnered an enviable reputation for its high quality food and wine offerings, perfect for filling the gaps or a hearty, three-course affair.
Pull up a pew in the front bar and peruse the blackboard scrawled with specials, or trot on up the stairs to the more formal dining area, where dark banquettes encourage leisurely eating. Arched windows look onto Market Street below, as lamps light the dimmed space and diners tuck into the seasonal menu with gusto. Grilled artichoke and roasted tomato salad with basil and goat's cheese is perfect for nibbling, as is the duck liver pate with braised onion and garlic croutons. A main of baby calamari stuffed with prawns and caramelised onions, and served with tomato sugo, or a grilled Gippsland lamb loin flecked with rosemary and accompanied by an eggplant parmigiana, will meld deliciously with one of de Vino's wine offerings. Andeas Puhar's meandering wine list tours the globe with both well-known and unique drops, while owner Terence Rego and waitstaff are on hand to help tie it all together. Drop in from 11am to late Monday to Friday, or Saturday night, and bask in the welcoming atmosphere of this inner-city nook.