You may not realise it, but the atmosphere around you when drinking a wine can impact what you think and feel about a wine. Adding music to the mix, completes the sensory experience of a wine. As you know, you use your sight, smell and taste buds to determine what you think of the wine but sound/hearing is rarely used. So I say, let’s complete the wine experience and why not do it listening to the smooth tunes of jazz live in Perth city!
Recently the lovely team at Tarts Cafe in Northbridge and jazz songbird Cathrine Summers invited me and my good friend, J over at Toward Music to their Jazz & Shiraz night. Every Wednesday from 6:30-9:30pm Cathrine sings alongside a pianist or guitarist as you enjoy the foodie delights at Tarts.
Shiraz has sex appeal. The spicy bite, the smooth silky fruit flavours and that warming feeling in your throat is just what you need on these cold Perth nights. Team that up with the sultry and alluring husky voice of Cathrine singing New Orleans style music and you have the perfect night out.
The Tarty Setting
Sorry I can’t help myself but I am going to have fun with the Tarts name throughout this post! And John Vallini the owner, also does the same seeing as he called us ‘first time tarts’ when we entered the relatively off the grid restaurant cafe. Tarts is located on the outer edge of Northbridge, away from the hustle and bustle and unless you were looking for it, you’d probably miss it. It’s a secret garden you want to get lost in for an evening.
Tarts is literally a restaurant/cafe/cake shop/store/gourmet food retailer/anything and everything. There’s something interesting to look at in every corner. You feel more like you’re in someone’s home than at a restaurant. A homely feeling with a touch of class.
It’s a rather large venue, with tucked away meeting rooms for corporate or private meals, an outside courtyard and even a downstairs cellar. I was a bit disappointed that the latter was not full of wine however.
The Tarty Music
I have actually done a wine and jazz music night before, but it was slightly different as I was in the Penedés and the live jazz performance was matched with the Spanish sparkling wine – Cava. And from my experience at Tarts, it looks like the red wine and jazz combo works just as well.
What I really enjoyed about Cathrine’s soulful tunes were that they were a mix of classics (Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday and more) to playful renditions of iconic songs by Doris Day, Peggy Lee and Edith Piaf. My all time favourite part of the night had to be when she sang “My Favourite Things” from the wonderful Sound Of Music film. There was even a Michael Jackson interpretation of Bille Jean which was awesome.
Cathrine is absolutely stunning, she’s burlesque crossed with playful sophistication, she’s fun and class all in one.
The Tarty Wine
I love the wine list at Tarts. Not overly complicated yet enough to keep the punters interested. There’s a decent amount of WA wines on the list, which is great to see, even Jane Brook from the Swan Valley has a couple of tipples listed.
There are also wines from the eastern states as well as from Italy and NZ. All the wines are available by the glass except some of the sparklings. Prices are very reasonable ranging from $9-11 per glass and bottles from $30-42.
As it was a Jazz & Shiraz evening it would have been rude not to have Shiraz so J and I shared a bottle of Battle of Bosworth 2013 Shiraz. You can read my tasting note here.
I would have loved to have seen more Shiraz up for offer, as it really was a match made in heaven for the live music.
Plus they have one of my fave beers, Peroni by the bottle at $8. Check out the wine & drinks menu below (click the image to make it larger).
The Tarty Food
The Spaniards have tapas, the Mexicans have botanas, us Australasian have snacks & appetizers and the Italians have ‘Aperitivo’. I’m a sucker for a small plates shared menu. And boy was a glad to see this at Tarts. My only problem is that I wanted EVERYTHING!
As we first took our seat, our lovely waitress brought us over a cheese scone type of thing which was delicious and a nice alternative to a bread roll.
We ended up going for the:
- Vagabondo Board: prosciutto, sopressa, semi dried tomatoes, provolone cheese and feta served with a side of warm marinated olives & toasted Turkish bread for $35
- Grilled Spanish chorizo served with charred lime and ciabatta bread for Sicilian Gnocchi: potato ricotta dumplings wrapped in aubergine with parmesan and a tomato & herb sauce $11
We totally over ordered but that’s because everything sounded so good! Mr. Spittoon was overly stoked with our over ordering as it meant he had a lovely packed lunch the next day. You gotta love restaurants which do doggy bags. Grandma Tarts packed his lunch!
Alongside the shared plates there are also main meals which looked divine too. Check out the full dinner menu below (click the images to make them bigger).
My final tarty verdict
As a first time tart, I must admit I had a fab night and I’m keen to take Mr. Spittoon back soon. The wine, food and music will have you completely captivated. But make sure to book because as you can imagine it fills up quickly.
Check out Tarts new website or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more info and mouth-watering pictures! And for more details on Cathrine and where you can catch her performing check out her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.