Friday, August 24, 2007

Salamanca Nights

The new bar Observatory above Blue Skies (where Sisco’s used to be) reminds me of a very large version of a classic Melbourne/Sydney cocktail bar. Most impressed by the sexy light fittings and funky furnishings. Definitely worth a peak. A fine cocktail was followed by a fine white, which we paired with nibbles from the tapas menu. I’m not sure why they call it a tapas menu, it seems more like an entrée menu to me … in other words, these small dishes are pretty generous. And very delicious. The salt and pepper calamari is a must-try.

In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much we belatedly realised we were too late for a restaurant dinner elsewhere. Like Mary and Joseph, we could not find anyone in Salamanca who’d take us in. Until we were directed to the Lower House.

The Lower House is a funky conversion of what was once the Elbow Room. Excellent use of the space has created a warm and intimate feel. Service was welcoming, and very attentive for a large late-night venue. The menu is available until midnight, so we sat ourselves down with another fine white and a very generous tasting plate (they have several varieties of platter for those who want to pick, and much more besides).

In short, Friday nights in Hobart have grown up a little. Our experience was an exciting foray into two very good venues that are a step outside the Hobart norm.

About time.

Have a great weekend!


Stephen said...

I also visited the Observatory the week before last, and while they hadn't managed to get all the bugs out of the system, the place shows lots of promise.

I agree with Georgie's comments about the food. We ordered from the hot dish page of the extensive tapas menu. What arrived was more akin to two large entrées. They arrived hot and quickly, and were of the quality you'd expect to find at a good restaurant, and the serving sizes were very generous.

I found the place a bit drafty, which seemed to be the fault of an inconveniently placed heat pump being made to work too hard for the area it had to heat. That said, it was a v.cold night.

Well worth a visit.

Forde Montgomery said...

If you like the Lower House, you would have loved it when it first opened. Had a quality chef and more of a Tapas Bar feel to it. It's still good but not a patch on those first few months.

Anonymous said...

Luke Burgess (now Pecora)was the guy in the kitchen then.

Forde Montgomery said...

Cheers anon. Went to Pecora the other day, fantastic. It disturbs me though that in a small place like Tasmania 50% of the good restaurants are out in the stix.

Anonymous said...

Tasmania is the stix

Anonymous said...

Observatory is the middle ground between isobar and t-42.