Dining / Wine bar with a smokehouse flavour

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Apple-smoked camembert. Photo: Wendy Johnson

“As a regional wine bar and tap house, Bolt Bar is part of the revitalisation of the Aranda shops… It was our first visit and won’t be our last,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON

THERE’S a lot to love about the Bolt Bar in Aranda – its unique vibe, dedication to local wines and produce, and its skill in smoking a delectable range of products on site. 

Wendy Johnson.

It was our first visit and won’t be our last. 

Named after the architect who designed the building, Dirk Bolt (the history features as a piece of art on the wall), Bolt Bar’s menu features snacks, 12-inch pizzas, gourmet burgers and mains. 

Wines from regional producers are displayed, forming a feature of the bar, including top drops from Wily Trout Vineyard, Lerida Estate and Four Winds Vineyard (you can buy bottles also, and we did at 30 per cent off). With our meals we enjoyed a 2018 viognier from Tallagandra Hills and a 2017 Three Lads Barbera.

The on-site smokehouse has yum items for sale, including smoked garlic. Some items need to be ordered in advance (space issue), and I must give the salmon gravlax a go.

We kicked off our Bolt Bar experience sharing starters, all exceptional. The salt-and-pepper squid ($12) was super tender and one of the best I’ve had. The three smoked starters were intriguing and not overly smoked. They included apple-smoked camembert (from the specials, $15), stuffed olives ($10) and feta-stuffed peppers ($10).

The gourmet burger offering is well thought through and not your typical line up (all $17). My smoked pulled-pork burger with apple sauce was to-die-for and I loved that the bun wasn’t so massive. Sometimes with burgers I feel all I’m doing is eating bread.

The Bolt Burger was also super delicious and a house fave we were told – house-ground smoked beef, served with caramelised onion and “the lot”.

Rare was the way the char-grilled eye fillet was ordered, and rare was the way it came, with creamy mash and veg and a rich red-wine jus ($34 and other sauces available). The barramundi also earned a big tick.

Bolt Bar offers specials every day of the week and if we lived in Aranda we’d be there all the time, including on Sundays to enjoy dinner for two and Eden Road wine for $55.

As a regional wine bar and tap house, Bolt Bar is part of the revitalisation of the Aranda shops which had been empty for a couple of decades before Two Before Ten moved its roastery there in 2014. The derelict building slowly transformed into a bustling community hub. Now Bolt Bar, the Aranda café and the roastery all form a family – different personalities, but united.

The décor is relaxed and the staff can’t do enough for customers. At Bolt Bar you can dine indoors or out (heaters available).

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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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