The Sailor Bar & Kitchen has launched a new dining experience called FitzRoy’s, with a focus on seafood and local produce.
New chef Antonio Di Francescantonio trained in Rome before moving to Australia to work at Sydney restaurants including Haberfield Rowers, Cala Luna and Perugino.
Owner of The Sailor Kieran Fitsall (pictured above, right, with Di Francescantonio) said: “The Sailor has gained a reputation for being a friendly and fun venue, a local bar and kitchen that serves amazing cocktails and has the best gin selection on Sydney’s North Shore. Food has always been an integral part of what we do, and now with Antonio coming on board, we can really focus on creating a menu that will put us on the food map in Sydney.”
FitzRoy’s at The Sailor offers dishes with a seafaring focus, seafood and fish, together with pasta and European-influenced dishes.
Some of the menu items that diners at FitzRoy’s can expect include a new signature dish, a Fisherman’s Seafood Bouillabaisse (octopus, mussels, squid, prawns and market fish in a light tomato and prawn bisque), Pan-Fried Barramundi and Prawns, Seafood Tagliatelle, Swordfish Carpaccio and Porcini Mushroom & Smoked Mozzarella Arancini.
For meat lovers there’s a Scotch Fillet Steak and regulars will be pleased to know that The Sailor’s much loved Prawn Tacos and Traditional Beer Battered Fish & Chips will still be on the menu.
“We’re located on Sailor’s Bay Road in Northbridge, an area where sailing and boats are a big feature of the community, so ‘The Sailor’ was an obvious choice when opening in 2020 and we wanted to extend that nautical theme to our new dining experience,” Fitsall said.
“Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy is a sadly unrecognised figure who was famous for navigating HMS Beagle, and sailing around the world with Charles Darwin. He was also a pioneering meteorologist and responsible for creating the weather forecasting system that saved so many sailors’ lives and that we now take for granted, so ‘FitzRoy’s’ seemed a fitting choice.”
The Sailor officially launched its new menu at an event last week that kicked off with gin and tonics from local distiller Unexpected Guest, with master distiller Jamie Maslen on hand to answer guests’ questions about the range.
Unexpected Guest is Australia’s first mobile gin distillery, based in a bright orange 1972 Kombi ute.
Fitsall is a huge gin fan, so The Sailor Bar stocks 70-80 gins, mainly by Australian craft distillers, with a couple of his UK favourites.
Guests were then taken on a journey through the new menu, sampling delicious arancini and stuffed zucchini flowers, followed by truffle and porcini mushroom gnocchi and the restaurant’s signature bouillabaisse.
The Sailor is a beloved Northbridge local and owner Fitsall is a warm and welcoming host who has successfully weathered the storm of getting the keys to the bar on the day Sydney went into lockdown on March 23, 2020.
He said the joy of seeing people in The Sailor Bar laughing, chatting and enjoying themselves with friends, while also making new ones has made the challenges of the last two years worthwhile.
“The support from the local community has been amazing,” he said. “They told us that they’d be crying out for a local for ages and are so thankful that they now have somewhere to go.”
You’ll find The Sailor Bar and Kitchen at 128 Sailors Bay Rd, Northbridge NSW.
The Sailor Bar expands after navigating the COVID-19 storm