Dining / Fab wine bar with a bite to eat

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IF you love a good drop of wine, with great food to match, head over to Avenue C, one of the uber-places to open in Campbell (around the corner from The Pedlar).

Peter Bell – a top-notch sommelier – has opened the place with wife Rachel and they’ve truly created something unique. We immediately embraced the idea and the execution.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

Avenue C is a wine bar and shop combined, and has already become a fab local.

Peter has pulled together some great wines, with an ever-changing selection of up to 18 memorable picks by the glass. You won’t find thin sauv blancs here. Avenue C can promise this because it’s invested in the innovative Perlage preservation system, which ensures champagne retains original flavours and sparkle, and in Coravin technology to preserve wines so you can then indulge in the best of the best at any time.

At Avenue C, wines available by the glass are displayed on a huge blackboard, with each resting on a small timber shelf, and details written in chalk beside them. They range from $10.

But what about the food? The menu is designed around grazing, and graze we did. All food is prepared in a small area behind the bar – there’s no kitchen per se.

The grilled haloumi with honey, lemon and oregano ($14) was refreshingly different, although the three, thin slices looked lost in the rather big bowl they were served in.

The generous slice of creamy chicken liver parfait ($18) was decadent. We had to order more toasted brioche so as not to waste even the smallest mouthful. I’d be automatically serving extra slices.

We adored the rabbit terrine, another generous slice ($19) and would have it again in a flash. Don’t shy away if you don’t like rabbit. This is an interesting, not strong-tasting, dish. Our lunch was topped off with warm zucchini salad with lemon and sea salt ($14).

We asked for wine-matching recommendations and fell in love with each glass, especially the Verget Au Fils Du Temps (“as time goes by”) – Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and Chardonnay – $11. Indeed, we both bought a bottle to take home.

The décor is nicely themed with framed maps of wonderful wine regions from around the world hanging on one wall, such as Cote du Rhone, and the bar area featuring sections of wood from wine crates spruced up with the names and seals of winemakers stamped into them.

We’ll be back to Avenue C, and soon. We look forward to sitting outside on the patio in the nice weather and already have a list of foodie friends we intend to introduce the place to.

Avenue C, 55/65 Constitution Avenue, Campbell. Call 6247 5991.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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