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Monopole named Australian Gourmet Traveler Wine Bar of the Year in 2022

A romantic French bistro run by one of Australia’s top sommeliers has been crowned the country’s best wine bar.

Tucked away in the heart of Sydney CBD, the Paris-inspired Monopole was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Wine Bar of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.

Once housed in a mood-lit basement, the restaurant has recently moved to a new location, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows that can be thrown open to create an airy patio, perfect for post-lockdown dinners in the summer.

The venue is co-owned by award-winning chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt and is taking limited reservations for curious passersby who stumble upon it while walking around town.

A romantic French bistro run by one of Australia's top sommeliers has been crowned the country's best wine bar

A romantic French bistro run by one of Australia’s top sommeliers has been crowned the country’s best wine bar

Tucked away in the heart of Sydney CBD, the Paris-inspired Monopole (pictured) was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Wine Bar of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

Tucked away in the heart of Sydney CBD, the Paris-inspired Monopole (pictured) was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Wine Bar of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

Co-owned by award-winning chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, the venue is taking limited reservations for curious passersby who come across the bistro as they wander the city

Co-owned by award-winning chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, the venue is taking limited reservations for curious passersby who come across the bistro as they wander the city

Tucked away in the heart of Sydney CBD, the Paris-inspired Monopole (pictured) was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Wine Bar of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night

The European bistro offers a three-course menu for $90 per person

The European bistro offers a three-course menu for $90 per person

The European bistro offers a three-course menu for $90 per person

Hildebrandt has been crowned Australia’s best sommelier more than once, but the humble connoisseur simply calls himself ‘the wine guy’.

It sounds opulent, but Monopole offers upscale dining at a surprisingly affordable price.

Premium Australian vintages, including Heretic’s WA Savagnan, start at $12 a glass, and there’s plenty of fun to be had for under $100 a bottle.

The restaurant serves a three-course meal for $90 per person, with dishes like seared tuna and sweet corn custard vol-au-vents to start, steak in a red wine gravy for the main course and blood orange pie for dessert.

Diners have left rave reviews online, with many saying it’s “flawless” from the “exquisite” food to the “impeccable” service.

‘Another great dining experience at Monopole with fantastic food, excellent wines and service. Always a pleasure to travel to Sydney for a memorable and enjoyable dining experience,” wrote one man.

Standout dishes include seared tuna, sweet corn custard vol-au-vents, rump steak in a red wine gravy and blood orange pie

Standout dishes include seared tuna, sweet corn custard vol-au-vents, rump steak in a red wine gravy and blood orange pie

Standout dishes include seared tuna, sweet corn custard vol-au-vents, rump steak in a red wine gravy and blood orange pie

The wine bar has rave reviews online, with diners saying 'it's all right'

The wine bar has rave reviews online, with diners saying 'it's all right'

Satisfied customers praised the 'exquisite' food and the 'impeccable' service

Satisfied customers praised the 'exquisite' food and the 'impeccable' service

The wine bar has rave reviews online, with diners saying ‘it’s all right’

Sydney rock oysters (pictured) can be ordered for $5 each

Sydney rock oysters (pictured) can be ordered for $5 each

Sydney rock oysters (pictured) can be ordered for $5 each

Another said: ‘One of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had.’

In the midst of Sydney’s 15-week lockdown, Monopole distinguished itself by creating a special Bastille Day menu in honor of the July 14 bank holiday that promised to take diners on a tour of France from the comfort of their own homes.

The menu, which consists of ‘almost ready-made’ dishes simple enough for cooks of all skill levels to put together, includes starters of potato and leek soup and trout baguettes, a main course of confit duck cassoulet and a layered chocolate cake slathered with raspberry sauce for dessert.

In the midst of Sydney's 15-week lockdown, Monopole created a special $140 Bastille Day menu in honor of the July 14 holiday that took diners on a tour of France at home.

In the midst of Sydney's 15-week lockdown, Monopole created a special $140 Bastille Day menu in honor of the July 14 holiday that took diners on a tour of France at home.

In the midst of Sydney’s 15-week lockdown, Monopole created a special $140 Bastille Day menu in honor of the July 14 holiday that took diners on a tour of France at home.

Elsewhere in the annual awards ceremony, an intimate farmhouse-style eatery with just 30 seats was crowned Australia’s best restaurant of the year.

Tedesca Osteria, located in an early 20th century home overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland in the Mornington Peninsula, VIC, was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Restaurant of the Year on Sunday.

But diners who want to make reservations will have to wait until 2022 to get a table, as the restaurant confirms it’s officially fully booked until the end of 2021.

This farm-style eatery with just 30 seats has been named Australia's best restaurant for 2022

This farm-style eatery with just 30 seats has been named Australia's best restaurant for 2022

This farm-style eatery with just 30 seats has been named Australia’s best restaurant for 2022

Tedesca Osteria, located in an early 20th century home overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Restaurant of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.

Tedesca Osteria, located in an early 20th century home overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Restaurant of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.

Tedesca Osteria, located in an early 20th century home overlooking 27 acres of Red Hill farmland on the Mornington Peninsula, was named 2022 Gourmet Traveler Restaurant of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner dreamed of opening the restaurant for more than a decade, which can accommodate 30 to 35 guests for intimate, quiet lunches.

“Tedesca grew out of something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” she said.

“I grew it in my heart, out of my mind, out of conversations and how I like to cook.”

Gourmet Traveler praised it for being “refined and elegant, yet working in a way that is both humble and deeply personal.”

Tedesca Osteria serves a set menu dining experience for $155 per head. A typical menu may include antipasto, handmade pasta, a seafood dish, a meat dish, and a dessert, but this changes with the seasons.

Gourmet Traveler praised it for being “refined and elegant, yet working in a way that is both humble and deeply personal”

Tedesca Osteria offers a set menu dining experience for $155 per head.  A typical menu may include antipasto, handmade pasta, a seafood dish, a meat dish, and a dessert, but this changes with the seasons

Tedesca Osteria offers a set menu dining experience for $155 per head.  A typical menu may include antipasto, handmade pasta, a seafood dish, a meat dish, and a dessert, but this changes with the seasons

Tedesca Osteria offers a set menu dining experience for $155 per head. A typical menu may include antipasto, handmade pasta, a seafood dish, a meat dish, and a dessert, but this changes with the seasons

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner (pictured) dreamed for more than a decade of opening the restaurant, which can accommodate 30 to 35 guests for intimate, quiet lunches

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner (pictured) dreamed for more than a decade of opening the restaurant, which can accommodate 30 to 35 guests for intimate, quiet lunches

Chef and owner Brigitte Hafner (pictured) dreamed for more than a decade of opening the restaurant, which can accommodate 30 to 35 guests for intimate, quiet lunches

The restaurant has received near-perfect Google reviews and many customers call it “the best dining experience” of their lives.

“We love this small space so much, we don’t even know where to start. The food is finger-licking good and the open kitchen feels so warm and inviting, it’s like dining at a friend’s home in the Italian countryside. This place is an absolute gem,” one diner wrote.

Another said: ‘Incredible dining experience. It felt like a delicious meal in someone’s impeccably designed home.”

As someone added, ‘This was one of the most delightful dining experiences we’ve had. The food was fresh, innovative and a nice balance of flavors and textures. Staff were very competent and very welcoming. A must when visiting the peninsula.’

Winners of the Gourmet Traveler Restaurant Award 2022

Restaurant of the year: Tedesca Osteria, Red Hill, Victoria

Restaurant of the Year winners: Tedesca Osteria (Victoria), Saint Peter (NSW), Fico (Tasmania), Millbrook (WA), Restaurant Botanic (SA), Elska (Queensland), Pilot (ACT)

Chief of the Year: Daniel Puskas from Sixpenny, Sydney

Best new restaurant: Gimlet, Melbourne

Best new talent: Jung Eun Chae from Chae, Sydney

Restaurant Personality of the Year: Sharon Romeo from Fino, SA

Best dining destination: Oaks Kitchen and Garden, Queensland

Best Wine Bar: Monopole, Sydney

Outstanding Contribution to Hospitality: Amy Chanta

Gourmet Traveler's December issue 'Celebration' is now on sale

Gourmet Traveler's December issue 'Celebration' is now on sale

Gourmet Traveler’s December issue ‘Celebration’ is now on sale

Gimlet, Andrew McConnell’s restaurant in the 1920s Cavendish House in Melbourne’s CBD, won Best New Restaurant, while Jung Eun Chae of Melbourne’s Chae restaurant was named Best New Talent.

Daniel Puskas of Sydney’s Sixpenny was named Chef of the Year, in the evening’s only peer-voted award. The restaurant turned into a successful bakery model during the state lockdown.

“This year has been a huge challenge for the restaurant industry, but it has also brought new depths of creativity and resilience, especially from our restaurant award winners,” said Joanna Hunkin, editor of Gourmet Traveler.

“As Sydney and Melbourne reopen and regional travel resumes, there’s no better time to celebrate the joy of eating out and celebrating the people who make it so special.”

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