A new kitchen and bar, Husk & Vine is opening in Sydney’s Parramatta in early July.

The restaurant will be headed by chef Stephen Seckold (Flying Fish, Salaryman), who will pay homage to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultural influences in Parramatta and the surrounding area.

Housed on the premises of the former Wheatsheaf Hotel, Husk & Vine sits alongside a public display showcasing the remains of an 1840s convict hut, Wheelwright’s workshop and the cellar of the Wheatsheaf – all discovered during excavation of the site. These historical artefacts have been preserved in an outdoor archaeological display, complete with a glass floor viewing platform that restaurant guests and members of the public can observe.

At the kitchen’s heart is a custom Beech oven where head chef Ashley Brennan will produce flatbreads and pides, as well as large cuts of meat and whole birds for guests to share, such as whole lamb shoulders with harissa, okra and chickpea stew.

Husk & Vine’s drinks list focuses on boutique wineries. It features small producers from Australia and abroad with a concentration on Australian cool climate wines, as well as French and Italian classics. Cocktails use a range of native ingredients such as eucalyptus and lemon myrtle in house-blended syrups, with a strong low and non-alcoholic drinks menu.

The vision of Husk & Vine was created by SITE – a hospitality concept agency. Seckold is SITE’s group chef, helping to bring this vision to life in partnership with the Husk & Vine team.

SITE’s co-founder Dave Galvin said “Husk & Vine will deliver a quality experience with an all day breakfast and lunch offering, and a dinner experience that will champion Australian produce – while remaining fun and accessible. It’s a place to meet friends and business clients, close to everything but still tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Parramatta’s streets, in a relaxed modern setting.”

The interiors were created by Nic Graham with timber, leather and linen accents, while sandstones appear suspended in a mirrored infinity grid around a double-height void, a nod to the venue’s rock foundations. Husk & Vine sits within a precinct that is also home to the V by Crown Group apartments, and SKYE Hotel Suites, Parramatta’s first luxury five star offering, which opens on 1 August.

Less than 200 metres away is Parramatta Square, the focal point of Parramatta City Council’s multi-billion dollar revitalisation of its city centre, which will eventually boast a new library, art gallery, pedestrian links to a major transport interchange and a large, open-air public space earmarked for community events and festivals. Voted last year by the Urban Development Institute of Australia as Sydney’s most liveable suburb, Parramatta is forecast to grow in population by 40 percent to 201,000 by 2031.

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