A wine bar offering snacks has opened in Newcastle. It’s called Humbug | Newcastle Herald

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A RELAXED neighborhood wine bar was the dream of Michael Portley and Stephanie Wells when they moved to Newcastle two years ago with the intention of opening their first business together. Combining Chef Portley’s creativity with food and Wells’ passion for wine, the couple launched Humbug in Newcastle last month. The kitchen operates all day from noon for lunch, aperitif and dinner (Wednesday to Saturday), with an emphasis on homemade pasta and noodles, and a curated wine list that combines the passion of Wells for sustainability to offer a diverse range that is “user-friendly and, above all, delicious”. Portley, whose 15-year career as a chef has included stints at Black Star Pastry, Porteno, Bodega and, in Newcastle, Subo and The Edwards, has created a menu that marries his experience across a diverse range of cuisine. with their shared love of snack-type dishes. “We like to go places where you can try a lot of things,” Portley told Weekender. “This is how I want to eat and this is how I want to feed people. I hope they come in with an open mind to let Steph offer them some interesting wine options and then try some snacks that will go very well with it.” The snack menu, available daily from 2:30 p.m., includes homemade sourdough focaccia with giardiniera pickle; meatballs with marinara and doenjang; tomato, ricotta, peach and mint salad; oysters served plain or fried with tonkatsu sauce; and antipasto plates. Snacks can be accompanied by wines by the glass from producers in the Hunter region, Australia and overseas, or a concise selection of cocktails, appetizers and house-made soft drinks. “We wanted to have a neighborhood wine bar open for afternoon drinks and snacks,” Portley says. “We found that there weren’t many options other than pubs. When you end up at the beach for the day, it’s three or four in the afternoon, sometimes you want to go somewhere and have some great wine or great snacks “That’s what we were always looking for and we knew that was the experience we wanted to give our guests.” Snacks are also available on the lunch menu alongside seed-crusted focaccia-based sandwiches, as well as entrees that highlight Humbug’s homemade pasta: spaghetti with clams and dry ramen; mafaldine with white sausage stew; and macaroni with corn, fontina and kosho verde. menu centers around the pasta and noodles that Portley and his team of chefs prepare in-house on a La Parmigiana Pasta Extruder.The pasta is a frame of reference to start with, but Portley’s approach to flavor is anything but. tradition ional. “The idea of ​​focusing the menu around pasta and noodles wasn’t because we have special ties to Italian cuisine, it’s more of a ty affinity for noodles,” he says. “Noodles are a truly universal platform to present just about any type of food and although the menu is very Italian at the moment, we are drawing inspiration from other styles of cuisine.” The refined casual menu reflects the layout and the design of the space which is filled with colorful works by local artists and layered wood finishes. Wells designed the place with ambiance and comfort in mind, and oversaw the wine list which explores the traditional styles and lo-fi wines with an emphasis on sustainable and organic producers.” I’ve created a concise list, so it doesn’t overwhelm our guests. I just want people to come in and feel welcome to explore and hopefully be intrigued more than anything else,” Wells says. “It’s meant to be accessible to everyone, fun, and most of all not pretentious. Don’t worry about pronouncing the name of the wine, try it and see how it tastes.” Walk-ins are welcome at the bar or book online at humbugnewcastle.com.au


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