Towards the watery end of Harris Street in Pyrmont, a new steely grey café with a Melbourne feel has opened. They deliver a notch above the usual café fare for weekday breakfasts and lunches. In the next month they should also be open for breakfast and lunch on Saturday. It's also in the pipe line for them to be a Wine Bar some time in winter under one of the new licenses, which will of course require another visit (yay)!
The menu has an emphasis on fresh local and imported Italian produce – the Olive Marinate ($4) contains excellent Green Sicilian Olives (amongst other things) which I enjoyed a lot, not least of which because of how wonderful they looked on the plate.
I was also impressed with the Salumi Misti ($19) which shone with a lovely selection of cured meats and zingy house-made cornichons. One of my dining companions felt it was over-priced, however I thought the quality of the meats justified the price tag - we shared it three ways.
There’s also a nice selection of salads - the Insalata di Trevisio ($14) was full of roasted trevisio, caramelised onion, grilled pancetta and parmesan, and it was my personal favourite. I also found it unusual to have a type of lettuce roasted in the oven.
But I also enjoyed the Insalata di Fagioli ($9) which was full of crunchy, fresh, seasonal beans - go health!
Chef Charles Bruyere (ex- La Sala, Aria) does a great job in the kitchen with mains like Fresh Rolled Squid Ink Spaghetti ($16) paired with calamari, tomato and oregano. This was a really filling, wonderful dish with great flavours. I liked the textural elements of it too, and the fact that they're making the pasta in-house.
For a bargain lunch, try their great Pizzette of the Day ($8) – when I dined it was Frusta with Sopressa Salami, tomato, mozzarella and rocket – which is (impressively) served folded on a wooden board. It's a lot larger than my photo depicts, again we shared it three-ways.
You can dine inside or enjoy the ambient temperatures shaded by umbrellas outside - I even got a little bit pink from the sun on the afternoon I dined. The Di Lorenzo Coffee ($3.00) and assorted biscotti ($2.00) are also strong points. The only hiccup is that the only bathroom available is currently across the road at The Point Hotel – a small price to pay for an excellent all-round dining adventure. I can barely wait until they also serve wine (and by then, they will have an accessible on-premises bathroom). Keep in mind it's only small (26 seats, 12 outside).
78 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9660 5718