Harpoon Harry Dining Room is the latest Sydney eatery to take a leaf from authentic Southern cooking, led by Belle’s Hot Chicken chef/owner Morgan McGlone
It doesn't take a Southerner to appreciate the value of a succulent cut of smoked lamb rump or the tangy pull of crab ravigote with pickled green tomatoes and endive. Or, at least that's what Morgan McGlone is counting on. The culinary curator of Hotel Harry's new level-one restaurant - whose CV boasts a stint in Paris working at Pierre Gagnaire and a turn as head chef of Charleston and Nashville favourite, Husk - is hoping to bring his passion for classic Southern cuisine to Sydney.
After successfully converting us to Southern fried chicken of the non-KFC variety (he launched Belle's Hot Chicken in Fitzroy and the recent Barangaroo pop-up), McGlone is keen to show off his mastery of the BBQ, as well as his appreciation for smoked meats, and pickled and fermented vegetables. And Hotel Harry's menu - full of so-Southern classics like wood-smoked Riverine pork chop with five hour cabbage and sauce gastrique, shrimp & grits and fried apple pie with cinnamon ice-cream - lives up to its Stateside heritage. (It's probably best you leave your worst calorie-counting friends at home.)
The Dining Room is focused on a casual approach, with McGlone keen to cater to Sydney's late-night eating crowd. "I'm not a massive share plate fan but I like that you can get a few different dishes; people might share a couple of entrees like the Fraser Island crab ravigote or beef tartare with smoked oyster, followed by the steak dinner for two and a dessert," he says. "Some might just want to order all sides and have a glass of wine and that's great," adds McGlone.
And that's just the food. The drink list, curated by McGlone's mate James Hird offers a wine list with a focus on sustainable growers and an after-dinner bourbon trolley featuring a rare Kentucky drop - Pappy Van Winkle. "Having spent time with Morgan in South Carolina, it was apparent that whiskey and beer were intrinsically linked to low country cooking. I really liked the idea [of working] a strong range of whiskey into the list, as it really enhances the drinks program," says Hirst. Comfort food and American spirits? You don't need to convince us.
Hotel Harry is open now, serving dinner from 6pm Wednesday-Saturday.
Ground Floor Public Bar and Level 1 Dining Room 40 -44 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills, 2010. hotelharry.com.au/bar