Sydney is a harbour city and one of the most aesthetically blessed countries in the southern hemisphere.

Winters a mild (by northern hem standards), often sunny and visitors travel days in often cramped airline seats eagerly anticipating happy hues and outdoor cocktails.

But not in James Bradey and Warren Burns universe. The whiskey-loving minds behind Grandma’s and The Wild Rover proudly shirk our city’s sun-loving stereotypes, rather preferring to serve up complex cocktails in venues that feel more like a beatnik bar from Man Men accidentally stumbled onto the set of Jackie Brown. And we love them for it.

Saturday nights in either venue are a claustrophobes worst nightmare but in the best way possible. Patrons jostle for booths and the line for either bar buzzes with camaraderie because if a good person like you is doing anything in a place like this then you must be worth chatting to.

We suppose it makes sense that in a city that trades on its natural beauty, the locals hunger for venues that celebrate the low-lit leather-clad-seated mahogany-lined joys of the great indoors. We’re talking cosy with a capital C and just enough kitsch to appeal to our collective sense of irony.

 

And Bradey and Burns are back to satiate even more local cravings and this time it’s literal.

Bistecca is the pair’s take on a traditional Tuscan steakhouse, serving only a singular style of steak: bistecca alla Fiorentina. You may know it as the T-Bone.

Lucky for us, New South Wales happens to be home to some of the best beef in the world, providing Bradey and Burns the opportunity embrace some of Australia’s finest features without compromising on their signature cosiness.

This is largely thanks to the multi-awarded talents of interior design team at TomMarkHenry. Over the past few years the relatively young agency has forged a reputation for creating spaces that feel uplifting but also intimate, thanks to their always clever wrangling of seemingly incongruous materials, such as marble and woods.

The result is a restaurant that feels like the perfect blend of Australian talent with an international skew. That’s probably where it stands out the most from Bradey and Burns’ other venues.

There’s no tiki-room tongue-in-cheek here, just the greatest steaks in town. Yes, even for a city known for its seafood and sunshine.

Bistecca, 4 Bridge St (access via Dalley St), Sydney, NSW, (02) 8067 0450, bistecca.com.au. Mon-Sat, 4pm-2am.

Meg & Dom

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