In February, The Dolphin Hotel announced it would be making its well-respected Wine Room its focus, bringing the drinks carefully selected by Icebergs group sommelier James Hird (Icebergs, Cicciabella) to the pub’s other spaces and bars. Now, due to its enforced temporary closure, the transformation has taken shape, and a wine and food store is landing on Wednesday May 20.
Hird has raided the pub’s incredibly well-stocked natural-wine cellar and unearthed a number of rare bottles and back vintages that will be sold in the store. There will be 200 to 300 available at any one time and, although the really rare stuff will likely go pretty early, there will always be a super interesting selection to choose from. As well as the weird and wonderful, you can expect Dolphin classics, including its 10-litre “Big O” orange wine cask for a very reasonable $150 and a four-litre cask of barbera for $65. There are also plenty of bargains to be had, with a range of options sitting around the $20 mark.
“I have wanted to do a wine store at the Dolphin since 2016 and it’s incredibly exciting to be launching
this unique collection of rare B-sides and stone cold hits alongside the Dolphin to-go menu,” Hird says in a statement. “It’s an all hits, no misses wine line-up that has taken four years to assemble. With access to the entire Dolphin cellar there’s a great collection of back vintages and wines that we were holding back.”
Equally exciting is the fact that The Dolphin will begin selling its modern-Italian food to take away. That means you can tell Dominos to get in the bin and pick up The Dolphin’s northern Italian-style pizzas instead. There will also be burgers and smash-hit dishes such as calamari St Andrea, linguine with prawns and XO, pork cotoletta and herb-roasted chicken cacciatore. Other foods to go include sausage rolls, spinach-and-feta rolls and focaccia.
The new retail store will also be selling groceries. Head in to pick up fresh pasta and sauce to cook later; a selection of cheese (burrata, buffalo mozzarella and gorgonzola among them); Ortiz anchovies; Olsson’s salt; charcuterie; and fresh produce including tomatoes and zucchinis.
While all of the above will come in handy for your next dinner party or evening in, The Dolphin is also using the new relaxed restaurant restrictions to reopen its dining room to private groups. Gather up to nine of your mates and feast on a set menu in the pub’s courtyard, accompanied by an open fire. Diners are even welcome to pop into the wine store and choose a bottle.
For something a bit more casual, it’s launched the Delfino Wine and Burger Bar. It’s for walk-ins only, with a capacity of 10 people. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, it’ll serve burgers during the week and offer a larger menu of entrees, pizza, pasta and main dishes on weekends.
The Dolphin Food + Wine Store opens Wednesday May 20 and is open Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm to 10pm. Hot takeaway food is available at lunch on weekends from 12pm and at dinner from 5pm from Wednesday to Sunday. This week the dining room will be open on Saturday and Sunday for two lunch and dinner sittings; after this week it will be open from Friday to Sunday for two lunch sittings and from Wednesday to Sunday for two dinner sittings. The Delfino Burger and Wine Bar opens from 12pm Wednesday to Sunday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.