One of Australia’s most talked about chefs Jock Zonfrillo will set the new standard in bistro dining with the launch of Bistro Blackwood this spring.
Bistro Blackwood will seat its first guests on 20 September, following a swift floor-to-ceiling refit of its ground floor space beneath Zonfrillo’s fine diner, Restaurant Orana. The bistro will emerge with a new look – think white marble tables, leather banquette seating and a lively open kitchen – and a rocking new playlist.
“Bistro Blackwood will be a place for everyone,” says Zonfrillo. “We’ll serve a seasonally evolving menu with daily specials drawing from the same indigenous ingredients and techniques that we bring to life at Orana. It’s the same style, but more approachable and there’ll even be something for kids.”
Staff will work across both restaurants under the guidance of restaurant manager Greta Wohlstadt and head chef Sam Christopher. In the kitchen, Bistro Blackwood chefs will apply their skills and experiences from Restaurant Orana to drive a rotating, collaborative menu that champions the restaurant’s sustainable food philosophy.
“Blackwood is a project for the Orana team,” says Zonfrillo. “It’s a space for our chefs to be creative and really participate in how a restaurant works from managing budgets to starting each day at the markets or on the phone with our organic farmers.”
Dishes will be playful riffs on bistro classics, such as smoked Goolwa pippies dressed with crème fraîche and beach succulents, fire-pit chicken with cos salad and an eponymous steak tartare. The menu will run beside a punchy local-leaning wine list with an emphasis on lo-fi producers. Guests wanting to splash out beyond the 40-bottle list can order offRestaurant Orana’s 400-bottle spread, curated by sommelier Brent Mayeaux.
“Blackwood is unique because it fits into the ‘bistro’ pigeonhole without compromising the chefs’ creative liberty,” says Zonfrillo. “We’re executing Blackwood in a way that’s meaningful which is part of the rich fabric we’re hoping to build.”
Scottish-born Zonfrillo has helped pioneer Australia’s native foods movement. In addition to Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana, he runs The Orana Foundation, a not-for-profit venture that aims to preserve and promote indigenous food culture.
In August, Restaurant Orana was named Australia’s restaurant of the year by Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, marking the first time an Adelaide restaurant has won the title in two decades. Zonfrillo has also been recognised as Australia’s hottest chef in The Australian Hot 50 Restaurants 2017.