The problem with Modernism is: it doesn’t stay modern forever. What do you do when a Harry Seidler starts to date?
You renovate; a cool $8 million later and the garden’s mostly gone, pulling Lyn Utzon’s palm frond mosaic to prominence. Industry stalwart Frank Angilletta (ex-Martini Bar) has expanded into the more stylish space with a revamped lunch menu by Massimo Bianchi (ex-Uccello). It outperforms what one normally expects from a counter-style kitchen.
Gregarious Gorgonzola Dolce with Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers and Pesto ($12) makes for a rockin’ vegetarian bruschetta.
Skinless, spreadable and extra spicy Nduja Salami with Ricotta and Red Pepper Bruschetta ($12) packs an even bigger punch. Tramezzini (soft, white, crust-less bread) suits Smoked Salmon, Mascarpone, Avocado and Spanish Onion ($8); helping it outclass many a Sydney high tea. The prominence of good produce continues into a Modus Club Sandwich ($15), lower in layers than most, but definitely showing no ill effect.
The Terracotta Special of the Day ($15) proved to be well-sized and tasty rigatoni with ham, peas and fior di latte.
Wash it down with a ripper Pago Pear ($3.50) , pear puree tarted up and lengthened with lemon juice. It also comes in Pago ACE ($3.50), a carrot, orange and lemon juice with added vitamins A, C & E (hence the name). Keep your eyes peeled for them - both are fabulous!
Morning (and afternoon) Mecca coffee addicts can be avoided by timing your visit as a leisurely lunch. If you do, you may be lucky enough to get your own delightfully personable Italian waiter. Feeling a little full before the rigatoni arrived, I suggested to mine that I might not be able to finish it. He said softly: "It's a Sicilian recipe so what kills you may be the 'not' eating it."
A lunch you can't refuse - just the way I like it.
No. 9 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9223 9131