If you happen to be looking for a New York–style steak house in Australia, only about 10,500 miles away from Manhattan, start at Best of Award of Excellence winner Gowings in Sydney. Just a few minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and then onto the Royal Botanic Garden, the restaurant is located within Sydney’s QT hotel in the historic, art deco State Theatre and Gowings building in the city center.
Here, Gowings’ team artfully blends showmanship with a true love for cuisine Down Under. Chef Sean Connolly plays on the concept of a traditional, New York–based Italian steakhouse, but he adds a bit of Aussie flair with regionally sourced produce. That includes Australian grass-fed ribeye, along with local seafood: Skull Island prawns, Yarra Valley salmon caviar and Mooloolaba spanner crab, for instance. Or try the likes of deep-sea toothfish topped with warm olives and tomatoes, rigatoni slick with osso buco ragu or the “Signore Cardini” Caesar salad, made tableside and snowed with cheese.
Gowings’ wine program is a collaboration between QT beverage director Chris Morrison and head sommelier Samantha Belt, with nearly 1,000 labels available (including some bottles sourced from private cellars). The list focuses on small-production bottlings from every winemaking corner of Australia, with some wines dating to the 1930s.
Italian varieties, including Nebbiolo and Fiano, add diversity and sit alongside Australian mainstays like Shiraz and Chardonnay from leading wineries such as Cullen and St. Hallett. In addition to its by-the-glass selection, Gowings offers an impressive roster of 150-milliliter pours served using a Coravin system. Options include rarer local gems as well as picks from abroad, such as Perrier-Jouët Brut Champagne Belle Epoque 2013. Accenting the dining room are the 2,000-bottle cellar, which sits at the center to give guests a view of the collection, and a set of distinctive hanging lights dressed in watercolor-styled fabric.