Merivale have announced their latest venue, an elegant yet informal brasserie and bar called Bert’s, overlooking the Pittwater estuary and the grounds of The Newport.
Serving up a coastal European menu, Bert’s is led by Executive Chef Jordan Toft, Group Sommelier Franck Moreau and Group Bars Manager Sam Egerton – and is set to open in early January.
According to Merivale, Bert’s is inspired by the grand hotel dining rooms of the 1930s, with a colour palette of jade green and coral pink; the kitchen takes centre stage, accented by charcoal ovens and Basque grills, opening up to an elegant brasserie and cocktail lounge.
The Bert’s bar is set to be a destination in its own right, serving up a cocktail list developed by Sam Egerton.
Taking cues from grand European hotels and American country clubs, each drink represents one of the classic styles, with influence from seasonal and local produce; Egerton’s pick of the list is inspired by the Royale, with Absolut Elyx vodka, ginger cordial and champagne, finished with finger lime caviar.
Bert’s food offering is broken up into sections reflecting the kitchens clearly visible in the dining room – starting with the raw bar’s natural oysters, dressed crab and toasted brioche canapés, followed by salads and charcuterie from the larder.
For mains, guests can choose lobster from the tank, a selection of beef or whole fish roasted in the charcoal oven or cooked over the Basque grills, accompanied by simple preparations of vegetables.
“We want to create that sense of relaxed indulgence you experience on a coastal European holiday; to capture that feeling when you decide to order the fresh lobster or relax into the afternoon with champagne and oysters,” says Toft.
“It is very special, yet completely fuss-free – beautiful, fresh produce, served simply and elegantly”.
For the wine list, Moreau has focused on classic Australian wines, alongside European wines and emerging and quirky labels, including natural wines from Lucy Margaux and Patrick Sullivan.
“The Newport has always held a very special place in the hearts of the Northern Beaches community; it is a truly magnificent site, in an incredible location,” said Justin Hemmes.
“Our long-term vision for the venue is to create a destination that genuinely has something for everyone – all occasions, ages, budgets and tastes.
“We opened the outdoor area first to provide a vibrant gathering place where friends and families can get together over a beer and a casual bite to eat.
“Now with the launch of Bert’s, we can also offer a special experience for those wanting that little something extra. Outstanding food and exceptional service in a beautiful setting – but still very comfortable and relaxed.”