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Taking up residence in a somewhat unlikely position, the Carlisle Wine Bar is an absolute must whether you're in the area or not. With a sultry feel originating from the dark timber and red leather banquettes, low lighting and faux antiques, this long narrow space certainly has a lot to offer. Excellent food aside, there's a tempting cocktail list that's frighteningly affordable, an extremely well crafted wine list, and even a DJ on Fridays.
Chef and owner Marco Santucci (ex-Caffe e Cucina and Borlotto's) has created a menu brimming with rustic southern Italian charm. Start with an entree of spicy pistachio-crumbed calamari served on a salad of wild rocket, radicchio, witlof, fresh herbs and orange segments, or the twice baked goats cheese and chive souffle. Follow with a pasta or risotto dish like the linguini di cozze with black mussels, cherry tomato, capers, chilli, garlic and white wine, or a main of rabbit bianco (braised rabbit served on a crispy polenta with sauteed fennel and green olives). Finish with the chocolate fondant served with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice-cream. The extensive and well crafted wine list offers many less common varieties with a strong Italian emphasis.