Wow – what happened to Enmore Road? Over the past few months this strip has acquired a number of great small bars, to the point where it’s hard to choose just one – but for now I’ll now focus on Bar Racuda.
I pop into this small Italian bar on a weeknight with the Amazonian Croatian and as soon as we perch at the long wooden bar counter we immediately feel right at home.
Its most striking feature is that, from 6-8pm, there’s free aperitivo (I guess you could say it’s like an Italian version of tapas) for customers – and not only that, but it’s GOOD aperitivo. We’re talking braised cabbage, grilled tomatoes, and sautéed mushrooms that the Croatian believes is the best she’s ever tasted.
The cocktails are also impressive. I order the Spanish Quarter ($16), which is made with Spanish bitters, Cointreau, Martini Rosso and maraschino syrup (note that this isn’t maraschino liqueur but the actual red syrup that usually bathes the cherries). Served in a martini glass with orange zest, this is great and much more tart than it sounds, with the bitterness and the citrus flavours balancing each other perfectly.
The Croatian opts for the Home-made Apple Martini ($15) – and while I usually despise apple martinis with a vengeance, I have to admit this is an interesting take. Made with char-grilled apple-infused vodka (and what I’m assuming is cloudy apple juice), this is served with a mini apple (we’re talking olive-sized) that’s soaked in grappa and perched on the martini glass’s rim. The cocktail’s a little sweet for my tastes but the Croatian claims it’s perfect – and it’s certainly better than any other apple martini I ever tried.
However, the real bargain (other than the aperitvo!) is the glass of chianti I order next – it’s called Castello di Querceto, costs $8 a glass and tastes like it should be priced at twice that.
The atmosphere in Bar Racuda is comfortable – think folk and retro music at a civilised volume, friendly service and décor that’s slightly quirky without going overboard (for example, I like how the bar counter has door knobs on the side that double as coat hangers).
And on that note, I’ve raved enough about this place. This review’s over.
Bar Racuda, 105 Enmore Road, Enmore (across the road from the Enmore Theatre Box Office). Open Monday to Saturday until midnight. See the Bar Racuda website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Bar Racuda?
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