Doctors and nutritionists say you should always give yourself a few booze-free days in your week in order to let your liver recover from the weekend's pounding. Mondays are a great day to start such a regimen. Drinking on Monday nights is like eating soup with your hands - no one ever said ‘don't do it' and yet it's taken as a given that it's a bad idea.
On the upside, Sydney's bars are mostly empty on a Monday which means you won't have to jostle for elbow room while you're ordering drinks. The downside? It often means there's nothing between you and the dull thud of Monday music set to ‘wrist-slit' but the courage of a couple of bending elbows.
At Industrie the only nod to the South of France on the menu are the frites provencale (chips) with rosemary and aioli. But what does that matter? People aren't crowding into the distressed polished concrete walls for the regionally specific menu item, they're there for the $10 cocktails and nights of soul, funk and house.
The cocktails (which are only available later in the week) aren't bad, though it's all a bit muddled and fruity. Even classics like the Old Fashioned get a whack with the stick. Instead, try something from the Burgundy and Bordeaux heavy wine list which sees some hefty reds and frisky whites make an appearance - with plenty of the good stuff available by the glass - or if you're flush (and a lush) by the bottle.
Wine of the moment all around town is Alsace Pinot Blanc, a white mutation of pinot gris discovered at the turn of the 19th century. It's appearing on menus everywhere around Sydney and with its big bodied, mellow intensity, it packs all the punch of a chardonnay without that unpleasant pungent uric taint that so many chardonnays have. And considering its price (they start at around $20 a bottle, here a bottle of Hugel '05 will set you back a fiddy), it's a great value drop. This cold climate white has a dreamy nose on it - coming in a cloudy waft rather than an immediate hit - while in the Alsace it's considered to be more of a beast of burden than a sleek drop, the Germans hold it in higher regard and Australian sommeliers are wetting their pants over it.
It's a beautifully designed room and if you can swing it, get one of the tables near the window to peer out onto Pitt Street or snuggle back into one of the chubby gunmetal banquettes. The light shades are covered in fine flexible mesh which throw are very sleek light over space. Wander around the back and find an Asian inspired bar and upstairs they occasionally have live music. If wine's a thing for you, there are more specialised places to get your grape on but it's right popular with the after work crowd on Thursdays and Fridays.