We’ve sung so long, farewell to isolation and are adjusting to the new beat of dining out.
Socially distanced tables aside, Sydney has kept its suave (or should I say Soave) Italian fare mojo. As a highly reputable Italian enthusiast – with a perfect record for dishing out restaurant recommendations - I consider it my civil duty to share a Sydney-siders guide to Italian in the city.
If it was socially acceptable, I’d be at Bar Totti’s at 3pm daily to rest my weary head on a bed of their puffy wood-fired bread. It’s that good. The city-site is an antipasti haven with over 20 selections all beckoning you to build your own “Totti’s Hack”. My personal favourite is to pull apart a handful of Wood-Fired Bread, spread with Baked Tomino layer with Mortadella, and top it off with an umami of Anchovies.
If post-Covid life has you craving skin contact, 10 William St’s blackboard of orange wines will have you swooning. I’m adamant you could challenge the Sommelier to find you a drop that tasted like infant tears dipped in euphoric happiness and they’d be pouring your glass five minutes later. A wine bar first and foremost with an understated menu that sparks joy. Do not leave without ordering the Pretzel with whipped bottarga or you’ll be shunned to the 10 William St. waiting list forever. And folks, that’s a sad place to be.
Disclaimer: I do the publicity for QT Sydney, the boutique hotel housing Parlour Cucina. Yes, I’m bias. No, my stomach doesn’t lie.
The best plan of attack for Parlour Cucina is to go with a group of four and order everything off the menu. Eat everything, regret nothing. Chances are you’ll fight over the last piece of Pickled Octopus and be carefully calculating how to outwit, outlast, outstab your fork into the final Rigatoncini pork and fennel ragu. Indulge in dolce and go straight for the Tiramisu. If it had a pulse, I’d be dating it.
Italian dining isn’t all cold cut meats and generous slabs of pecorino and Peppe’s is the place to prove it. Plant-based and goddam delicious, Peppe’s makes you question any scandalous thing you’ve ever said about vegan dining. Whilst the menu is constantly changing, the way the gnocchi makes you feel is eternal. And I genuinely cannot believe there is no butter involved. Good value, great food, brilliant life decision.
Buffalo Dining Club is oh so deserving of its institutional status. My repeated use of “mmmmm” and “oh my god” become a really questionable melody each and every time I dine here. Cue the cheese dreams and commence the rollout of the buffalo mozzarella plates accompanied by a seasonally changing selection of sides (though the brussel sprouts are always a constant and yes, you should order them).
The Cacio E Peppe is fun for its Big Dish Energy being served from a giant cheese wheel, but the gnocchi is the real unsung hero. Buffalo ricotta gnocchi with napolitana sauce. I cried the first time I ate it. You should too. If you don’t, you’re undeserving of its beauty.