While much ado has already been made about this new Crown Street entry being owned by a (multinational) steakhouse chain, I’ve already been back three times.
Rather than bemoaning the expensive fittings, get stuck into a chewy Neapolitan style pizza from the dome shaped oven, while watching the pizzaiolo work.
The Con Patate ($21) bearing perfectly cooked potato, red onion and Italian sausage, won me.
Speaking of Italian meat, the shiny red Berkel meat slicer (and the lad operating it) provide much to salivate over too, like boards bearing Prosciutto San Daniele ($16/50g) and Tetsun Al Barolo ($10/50g) cheese.
When he’s not slicing meat, it seems our tattooed lothario is also a dab hand at pasta making; and there’s something mighty satisfying about assessing his skills as you watch him twist and pinch.
A gleaming copper Scanpan bearing joyously simple Bucatini Cacio E Pepe ($20) definitely made the grade.
For a companion wine, pluck the easy-drinking 2010 Antica Enotria Falanghina ($48/bottle) from the regionally arranged Italian list. Ricotta Polpette ($8/4 pieces) slide down with a bright yet simple tomato sauce, and prove a perfect start to a feast, Italian family-style:
Braised Baby Lamb ($27/$35), roast Potatoes ($7) and grilled Trevisio Radicchio ($12).
And at these prices, Nonna would be pleased.
628 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9318 0500