Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco, the exciting collaboration between leading hospitality group Merivale and revered Sydney chefs Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman, is set to open this Friday 20 October. Located in what is currently the drive-in bottle shop of The Tennyson Hotel, the pop-up eatery will serve up American-style Italian for a six-month stint.
Eggert and Whiteman have created a short and snappy menu of bruschetta, pasta and wood-roasted meats, with dishes set to change regularly. “We went with the classic trio of bread/pasta, cheese and meat”, says Whiteman. “That’s going to be the strong nucleus of how this restaurant’s going to fall in line because, to us, that’s what makes Italian food – simple, uncomplicated, rustic”.
Guests can start off with ‘chicken liver parfait with sweet onion and chive’, ‘beef tongue with confit tomato and crispy garlic’, or ‘meat loaf with dill pickle’, followed by a selection of bruschetta – ‘anchovy and tomato’, ‘octopus, potato and mint’, ‘pumpkin, lardo and chili’, ‘peas, beans and stracciatella’ and ‘raw veal, whipped tuna with bitter greens’. There will be classic pastas like the ‘pappardelle verde’ and ‘fusilli with lamb ragyu’, alongside seafood and meats cooked on the grill – ‘whole arrow squid with parsley and lemon’, ‘porchetta with charred scallion’ or ‘500g bistecca with mustard and parmesan’.
Keeping in theme with the original bottle shop experience, guests will be able to buy their own alcohol from the walk-in fridge, before ordering at the counter and dining in the 90-seater drive-way eatery. Franck Moreau has curated the selection of over 150 wines with a focus on boutique, craft and organic wines and unusual varieties. There will also be bottled classic aperitifs & digestifs, seasonal cocktails with kitchen ingredients, carefully selected amari and homemade cellos.
“This project is all about people walking away having had great food and an awesome night”, says Eggert. “We want to execute food at a really high, but completely unpretentious level, and for people to cut loose a little bit, just like you’re hanging out at in someone’s garage. It’s super casual and super crazy”.
Sydney tattooist Rick Vaughn, aka Four Eyes, has created bespoke illustrations for the pop-up, working closely with architect Kelvin Ho. Having spent years tattooing people around the world, Vaugh has applied his refreshingly simple and playful designs to the walls, tables, menus and uniforms of the eatery, bringing food and the logo’s ‘disco pig’ to life throughout the space.
Merivale acquired Tennyson Hotel in December 2016. The pub itself will operate as normal, with no immediate plans for a major refurbishment.
Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco
Wednesday – Friday – 6pm-12am
Saturday – 12pm – 12am
Sunday – 12pm – 10pm