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Finalists for Bar of the Year 2018
28.07.2017

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but the journey there is part of the unforgettable experience they offer.

Living off the land in winter
27.07.2017

The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

Why breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day in Italy
27.07.2017

Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017
27.07.2017

The hottest spots to eat, drink, play and stay on your next trip to LA, rounded up into one perfect day.

Reasons to visit Canberra in 2017
27.07.2017

Your guide to a perfect stay in Canberra, from where to sleep to the exhibitions you need to check out.

Restaurants with rooms
27.07.2017

Some of Australia's best dining destinations take the hassle out of a weekend stay by offering their own on-site digs where you can hit the hay in style after your meal.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
26.07.2017

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - they do as much to create a sense of ambience as lighting, tableware and music. And these three professionals are top of the class.

GT reader dinner: Firedoor, Sydney

Firedoor, Sydney

Firedoor, Sydney

Lennox Hastie is blazing a trail at his new Sydney restaurant, Firedoor, and you're invited to join the party.

Lennox Hastie can handle the heat.

The chef, now based in Sydney, spent five years stoking and smoking in the Basque Country at acclaimed wood-fire restaurant Etxebarri, so it comes as no surprise that his new restaurant, Firedoor, in Sydney's Surry Hills is the hottest ticket in town. "When you take something as good as raw fire, a good-quality ingredient and a bit of care, that's all it requires," says Hastie.

As at Etxebarri, the Firedoor kitchen burns everything from olive and ironbark to wine barrels and grapevines. "You say to people 'wood-fired' and they think pizza; you say 'grilled', they think barbecue," says Hastie. "This is only one expression of burning."

At this month's Fine Dining Lovers reader dinner, Hastie's menu showcases the season's best ingredients and the subtle flavours that result from cooking over embers. Kicking things off on the night is a rich, set-to-order Jersey curd, smoked using cherry wood. Slivers of guanciale and pecans cling to winter leaves charred over apple wood. "It's a beautiful combination at this time of year," says Hastie. Aged lamb rump cap is accompanied by cavolo nero and borlotti beans, while banana ice-cream with wild honeycomb and ganache (made with smoked water) ends the meal.

"As humans, I think we're all addicted to fire, to a certain degree," says Hastie. "It's such a beautiful way to cook." You've got our attention, chef.

Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 27 July at Firedoor, 23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills, NSW. The cost of $130 per person includes seven courses, wines by the glass, S.Pellegrino water and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (02) 8204 0800. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au.

Firedoor menu
Ferdinand's Gin Cocktail

* Wood-fired bread
* Smoked Jersey curd with pickled vegetables
* Wild kingfish with fennel and herb oil
* Grilled leaves with guanciale and pecans
* Gurnard with cime di rapa and Jerusalem artichoke
* Brussels sprouts and smoked ham hock
* Lamb rump cap with cavolo nero and borlotti beans

Si Vintners 2012 Margaret River Sémillon Chardonnay, WA
Brash Higgins 2014 'FRNC' Cabernet Franc, McLaren Vale, SA

* Banana ice-cream with smoked ganache and wild honeycomb

SPONSORED BY FINE DINING LOVERS

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