Former Darling Mills space taken by Ex-Bayswater Brasserie Exec Chef, Jeff Schroeter and Playwright-Director, Wendy Beckett, adds to Glebe’s food revival with Beckett’s
A throwback to the glamour of mid-century New York and Parisian brasseries, Beckett’s is Glebe’s new neighbourhood local breathing new life into the site that pioneered farm-to-table dining in Sydney.
Chef, Jeff Schroeter (Bistro Moncur, Bayswater Brasserie) and Playwright-Director Wendy Beckett (Claudel – on at the Sydney Opera House, from 23 April 2021), have created Beckett’s restaurant and cocktail lounge in the former Darling Mills site on Glebe Point Road. Breathing life back into the space with a menu of revived classics, diners can expect to see Schroeter’s famous vanilla lobster from Bayswater Brasserie on the menu once again. On the drinks front, the team have enlisted world-class bartender Charlie Ainsbury (Proof & Company) to create a classics driven cocktail menu to sit alongside Sasha Siljanovic (NOMAD, Spice Temple, St Isidore) to curate an elegant wine list that features a mix of domestic and international wines.
Co-owner Wendy Beckett enlisted her set designer to work with the iconic space and create a moody ode to the great bistros and cocktail bars of early to mid-century New York and Europe. The room, which accommodates around 90 people, is divided in half by the olive velvet-lined colonnade. The lounge bar is in the front of Beckett’s; one side a mix of plush low cocktail chairs, banquette seating and small bar tables. The other bookended by a baby grand piano (played nightly) and the bar itself. The lounge is perfect for drinks and grazing, or to experience the dinner menu in a more casual setting. In the dining room, ochre-hued fabric seats are tucked neatly into clothed tables.
On the food front, Schroeter is bringing three decades of experience to the Beckett’s kitchen. Guests can start with the Never Never Gin & Beetroot Cured Mt Cook Salmon with Yarra Valley salmon pearls, crushed cucumber & and shaved fennel, and micro herbs, ($21) or Merimbula Appellation Oysters (half-dozen, $28) paired with a glass of NV Laurent Perrier ‘La Cuvee’ Champagne ($19). While the menu at Beckett’s changes with seasonality and availability, current favourites include Glacier 51 toothfish cheeks with mussel and clam chowder sauce, roasted cauliflower and asparagus ($39), charcoal roasted wagyu rump, pommes dauphinoise, field mushroom jus ($38), and Queensland caught vanilla lobster, fennel butter-poached, vanilla celeriac, ice plant, and sea urchin sauce($55).
When it comes to the drinks list, Beckett’s sees the work of Sasha Siljanovic (NOMAD, Spice Temple, St Isidore) and Charlie Ainsbury (This Must Be The Place, Proof & Company) come together to curate a classic cocktail list and elegant wine list. Enjoy Ainsbury’s Beckett’s Martini: Widges Gin & Mancino Secco, Olives (4 to 1), or Siljanovic’s 2019 Jean Paul Thevenet Morgon Beaujolais, Lino Ramble Blind Mans Bluff Bastardo (McLaren Vale) or Lake’s Folly 2019 Chardonnay (Hunter Valley).
Jeff’s Bayswater Brasserie alum, Ainsbury says “Crafting the drinks offering for Jeff was a pleasure. It brought back the nostalgia of the Bayswater days. I’m looking forward to seeing how his food menu evolves with the influence of the neighbourhood and future regulars”.
Glebe was an important factor for Jeff and Wendy; both are locals and Wendy spent her youth writing in the artists’ colony at Blackwater Studio down the road. She says “Beckett’s has been designed to bring New York and Paris/London nostalgia and charm to Sydney. She’s a refurbished enhancement of the former Darling Mills restaurant; a long time favourite of the locals. Glebe is packed with artists, writers, theatre, and film producers. Beckett’s is our neighbourhood nook, and we invite locals to pop by for martinis and nibbles. It’s somewhere beautiful to dine and a reminder of Glebe’s former glamour. She’s a place to get a little dressed up for. A place of dining and drinking, where people talk to the sound of a tinkling piano.”
Co-owner Schroeter says, “I’m from the country. I’ve seen the back-breaking effort that’s put into growing things by farmers, first hand. My job is simply to honour that work and their knowledge. My dishes focus on the main ingredient, and everything on the plate serves to complement that flavour”.
Jeff quietly opened the restaurant with a ‘preview month’, so he and the locals could get a feel for the space. “I need to listen to her [the restaurant]. She’s been around for a long time, and during an important time in Sydney’s dining history. She’s telling me how I need to honour and work with her.”