My stars! Up and down.
I think there’s a certain amount of wit about calling a restaurant, ‘The Local’, especially when rather than referring to your neighbourhood pub, it’s a restaurant in the courtyard of the enormous 161 Castlereagh Street, in the middle of the CBD. But it’s apparently an offshoot of a popular bar in Neutral Bay.
We met up for lunch on an enormously hot day. My weather app said ’32 degrees, feels like 34′. Even the large umbrella overhead could do little to cool us down.
There was an amazing pair of musicians at the restaurant next to us: loved the voice of Billie Isabelle and the arrangements. We were also entertained by a constant stream of youngish workers, dressed in different themes, leaving the building: some in plastic foliage with fake birds; others with butterfly wings.
Good thing we were entertained because the food took a very long time to come. And it seemed that the friendly and charming waiters were completely overworked. The restaurant was packed and there were only two of them.
So, my score for the lunch was falling by the minute when our meals finally arrived. However… things were looking up. My duck confit was really, really good, served with a sort of coleslaw and some salad leaves. The cod got high compliments as did the beetroot tatin. Only did the steak (of steak frites) fall short: a little overdone.
And by then, the sun had moved, the restaurant was quieter and it was much more pleasant. Another plus.
In the end, it was the chairs that brought the rating back down again. Two of us were fine, but of the other two, one found her legs too short so was dangling, uncomfortably, and the other found his legs too long to comfortably put on the rest, and also found the chair difficult to get out of. Then, with the weird plastic backing in the heat, when I arose, my backside was all covered in sweat: perhaps not the dessert I wanted.