An impromptu girls drinks night with some work colleagues brought me to the Euro unexpectedly one Thursday night (181 Mary Street, Brisbane). What started off as a low key catch up turned into a booze fest of epic proportions, fuelled by some of the most delicious bar food I've ever had.
A little over a year ago, Brisbane food scene stalwart Urbane reopened as two long narrow restaurants and a laneway bar. The Euro was intended to be the more casual dining option to Urbane, with a staircase leading up to the Laneway Bar (which after suffering one long hot summer is being made over with retractable windows and air conditioning!).
The Euro, apart from having super funky bright red female toilets that make you think you're in a German surrealist film, amazingly still has that brand spanking new wood smell which reminds me of Ikea. And I love Ikea!
We kicked off our night by sitting up at the bar and starting off slowly with some tasty beers. As we were starving, we quickly pounced on the bar menu (which is technically the Laneway Bar menu) and were intrigued.
We began by munching on warmed organic olives and shoestring fries with aioli but quickly moved on to something more substantial: mini hotdogs!
These were $18 so that is $6 per hotdog which is a little steep. But can I just say - YUM! Each one is different: cheese kransky, onion confit, dijon mustard and tomato chutney; Merguez chipolata, choucroute, gruyere and seeded mustard; and pork, fennel and white wine, braised red cabbage and apple relish. The only downside were that these babies were gone in only a few bites.
We progressed to wine and I chose a GSM (Grenache Shiraz Mourverdre) which I am just obsessed with at the moment. It's so rich, inky and delicious with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It went perfectly with the meaty hotdogs.
Things really started going downhill when we cracked the cocktail menu which features such favourites as the Burnt Orange Flip, Clover Club and my very very favourite: the Espresso Martini.
With fires in our bellies we knew we needed something more substantial to soak up the alcohol and we progressed to the ragu of pork cheek, confit fennel, black olives and chilli with parmasan gnocchi.
While I am still basking in the afterglow of the most agonisingly delicious gnocchi of all time, there was one disappointment with the Euro and that was the hams tasting plate.
Although the charcuterie lets down the Euro, everything else about this place makes it my destination of choice for city drinks and bar food. With such a fabulous cocktail menu it is not surprising that I stumbled out of there on a school night at almost midnight, bewildered at my level of inebriation, but at the same time elated. While I suffered for it the next day, I certainly did not regret my night out at the Euro and I will be back soon enough, demanding the delicious pork cheek gnocchi.