Continental Deli, Bar and Bistro CBD

Cold cuts, cheese, canned goods, fine wine, stiff drinks. Once this list could only describe one venue, until Newtown's Continental Deli Bar and Bistro opened this CBD counterpart in 2018.

Everything that made the original exceptional is echoed here (although it’s only one level rather than two). There’s the rare and delicious cheeses and charcuterie, a large range of tinned fish from across the globe, and produce batched and canned in the inner-west restaurant.

The space was designed by co-owner Sarah Doyle (Elvis Abrahanowicz, Joe Valore, Jesse Warkentin and Mikey Nicolian are the other owners) and features Art Deco wall pieces, a marble 16-seat bar, glass facade and pastel pinks, which imbue it with a similar look and feel to the group’s flagship restaurant, Porteño (it also owns Bodega and has a hand in a number of places, including the recently opened Bella Brutta).

You can still opt for a Mar-tinnie (a canned Martini) and Gilda (guindilla chilli pepper, olive and anchovy on a toothpick) while perching on a bar stool, but the vibe is more a one-plate, one-person business-lunch scenario – maybe a steak (dry-aged rib eye or a roast sirloin); half a roast chook with sweet corn and cavolo nero; or a pork chop with apple, crème fraîche and sugarloaf cabbage. There's also a lunchtime sandwich menu of mortadella, ham and butter or a meatball and Parmigiano-Reggiano option.

The most obvious digression is the addition of a pasta extruder. The opening menu included a trio of pastas: a mafaldine (like a fettucine with crimpy edges) with Olasagasti tuna and tomato, and a rigatoni with sausage, broccolini, bottarga and cuttlefish.

With the larger space the team can also expand on its wine selection. That may sound like generic restaurant talk, but when many new venues serve only minimal-intervention wines, having a balance of classic styles and natural drops can be meaningful to those who haven’t embraced sediment, funk and fizz.

Updated: October 31st, 2018

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