Nick Hildebrandt and Brent Savage are a formidable duo, founding landmark restaurants Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Yellow, Cirrus and their Macleay St wine bar-slash-restaurant, Monopole. Hildebrandt is one of Sydney’s most celebrated and influential wine minds, crafting lists over the years that have pushed boundaries like few others, while Savage has very much had the same level of impact with his genre-defying cuisine.
Monopole is housed in a darkly toned terrace house on Macleay Street in Potts Point, with the tone of the exterior continuing into the Pascal Gomes-McNabb designed interior. Gomes-McNabb took a piece of Melbourne with her when she appointed Monopole, with the sunny, coastal interiors that Sydney is famous for surrendering to the pensive mood of dark timbers, pockets of localised lighting and industrial metals. Although it may have bucked a Sydney styling trend at the time, over its near-seven-year tenure, it has firmly become one of the Emerald City’s favourite rooms.
The wine bar tag is taken very seriously here, with the extensive and creative dining menu supplemented by classic wine bar fare: house-made charcuterie, an extensive selection of artisan cheeses, both local and imported, as well as wine-friendly small and share plates. And with Hildebrandt’s list running to over 500 bins, there’s plenty to choose from, with a strong representation of organic, biodynamic and preservative-free wines. It is a list that embraces the classic and the avant-garde in equal measure, just as Hildebrandt always has. There are around 30 wines offered by the glass and carafe, with decorated sommelier Glen Goodwin, who is also a part owner, running the day-to-day wine service.