A smart restaurant, cutting-edge wine bar, creative cocktail lounge, and all in a stunning heritage building with super-chilled service and vibe? Count us in.
Si Paradiso is a venue that takes it wine as seriously as it does its quest for good times. Slip into the bar or kick back in the sun-splashed courtyard till it surrenders into the night with good vibes – courtesy of DJs or live music – and three-day-ferment wood-fired pizza to keep you company.
Ask for the big bottle list if you’re with a crew, plus there are lots of liquid goodies not listed.
Group bookings in the courtyard for 10–150 guests
There’s something of a choose-your-own-adventure feel to this behemoth of a place, boasting three distinct spaces devoted to different experiences. The dining room alone – a retro sea of parquetry, laminate and dim globe lights – seats 100 people. Head outside to the amphitheatre-like courtyard, and there’s room for 175 revellers in amongst the striped umbrellas, Tuscan columns, seemingly countless potted plants and a stage for live entertainment. And what of the dark nightclub downstairs, with space for 100 more?
“We wanted to push the boundaries of what a 375-person space could deliver,” says co-owner Cale Mason. “For us, a good time is all about an experience, the whole thing – food, wine, music, service and space – all intertwined.”
Mason is in charge of the wine program, which he insists is very personal. “I treat it like the rest of my life, really,” he says. “[It’s all about] people I like working with, producers that resonate with me in the way they work, wines that excite me for different reasons – some wild and boundary-pushing, some fine and at the top of their game. But all fit with the core of what the venue is about: seafood, pizza, loud music, warm courtyard nights and dancing under the stars.”
On the one-page list, you’ll find some of the most recognisable names in Australia’s natural wine scene, such as Ochota Barrels, Latta, Sam Vinciullo and Koerner, sandwiched between European titans like Frank Cornelissen, Partida Creus and Clos de Tue-Boeuf. There are other lists, too, featuring large-format bottles and spotlights on particular producers, and there’s plenty more still off-list that staff peddle if the opportunity arises. The by-the-glass selection changes weekly, along with the food menu, so there’s always something new to try.