Opened this past weekend, vintage-inspired European restaurant Bert’s is the latest edition to The Newport, Merivale’s sprawling Northern Beaches destination. Taking design cues from the grand hotel rooms of the 1930s, the new addition is headed by Executive Chef Jordan Toft and Head Chef Sam Kane who lead a team from a centre kitchen, flanked by charcoal ovens and basque grills with aims to highlight fresh Australian produce with simplicity.
“We want to create that sense of relaxed indulgence you experience on coastal European holiday; to capture the feeling when you decide to order the fresh lobster or relax into the afternoon with champagne and oysters”, said Toft. “It is very special, yet completely fuss-free”.
Taking up prime views of the idyllic Pittwater surrounds as well as The Newport’s stunning grounds, Bert’s promises to be a breezy and relaxed leader for the second phase of the property’s landmark redevelopment. It’s sounding like an ideal spot to kick back with starters like toasted brioche fingers and a daily selection of crudo served with virgin grape seed and muscatel vinegar dressing, or Raw Bar signatures like hand-picked whole mud crab with lemon and mayonnaise or Siberian caviar with cultured butter and chives.
Big salads are available and packed with interesting flavour combos, like one with raw vegetables, warm shallot and anchovy dip, or the Avacado Bert with creamy avocado, chopped egg, tarragon, chive, chervil and togarashi.
Meat and seafood dominate the mains offering, highlighting the utility of cooking over charcoal, iron bark and fruit woods. The Brooklyn Valley grass-fed rib eye should be a popular pick, as should the Rangers Valley grain-fed T-bone roasted with aromatics, or the double pork rib for two with peach glaze and garlic flowers. Seafood lovers might prefer to lean towards dishes like the fried school prawn with red spice and buttermilk hot sauce, the slow-grilled live eastern lobster, or the basque-style baked crab.
Sticking true to its European influence, the wine list is generous and expansive, featuring 750 choices carefully curated by both of Merivale’s Master Sommeliers – Franck Moreau and Adrian Filiuta – with a focus on classic Australian and European wines. Cocktail lovers definitely haven’t been forgotten though, and Group Bars Manager Sam Egerton has put together quite the list, with inspiration taken from grand European hotels and American country clubs. We’ve got our eye on the classic Julep, which is elevated with local produce like lemon myrtle rye whiskey softened with a touch of Bourbon and mixed with wattleseed, spearmint and Corsican mint.
Bert’s won’t be Merivale’s only big Northern Beaches opening for 2018 though. Later this year will also see the finishing touches put to The Collaroy, which is set to open before summer is over. It too is being led by Toft, so we’ve got some high hopes for the reimagined food offering at the local favourite.
Address: 2 Kalinya Street, The Newport
Contact: 02 9114 7350
Hours: Mon-Sun 12pm-3pm (lunch); Mon-Thurs 6pm-10:30pm (dinner); Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun 5:30pm-9pm