Set just at the perimeter of the main drag of restaurants and shops on Balmain’s Darling Street, The Lodge is another charming addition to the area’s growing number of small bars, which includes The Cottage and Cantina Bar.
The Lodge occupies a strange little space on the ground level of a residential unit block, but has a great split-level outdoor courtyard perfect for warm summer nights. For the cooler months, the interior is just as inviting. Deep leather lounges and chairs, low lighting and dark timber panelling make it the perfect winter hideout.
Ed Cutcliffe (owner of the Little Marionette cafes in Balmain, Newtown and now Bondi Picnic) adds something new to his portfolio with The Lodge. A step up from the casual cafe food served at his other establishments, the menu has a range of options, all of which can be shared, including cheeses, chicken liver parfait, gnocchi, warm olives and a very tasty Spanish sobrasada on toast.
The list of drinks, along with those stored on a mezzanine, is extensive. The by-the-glass choices change daily and whatever bottles are cracked open early in the night will become the by-the-glass options for the evening. The liquor cabinet is similarly impressive with up to 40 whiskies, ports and beers on offer.
With plans to extend opening hours, The Lodge is set to become a Balmain favourite in no time.