Despite Verde being a Stanley Street stalwart for the last six years, it had escaped my notice until a “stupendous” review in Gault & Millau’s debut entry into Sydney’s reviewing scene.
Expecting something of a fine-diner, I was surprised to find a modern space serving home-style Southern Italian. Chef Antonio Ruggerino explains his menu as “basically what you’d find on my Mother’s table.”
He suggests an array of antipasti; my favourite being his Mum’s recipe – hockey puck-shaped Potato and Parsley Fritters ($10).
Alongside meaty Warmed Sicilian Olives ($10) in chilli and garlic confit, and tender Chilli Dusted Calamari ($12), they make great drinking snacks against a fruit-driven 2012 Woodlands Margaret River Chardonnay ($52/bottle).
Simplistic pastas, like Linguine Vongole ($36) keep crowds of mostly regulars, and lunchtime corporates blessed with hefty expense accounts, coming back.
I find it’s outclassed by Pan Fried Snapper with Saffron Pappardelle, Peas, Capers and Butter Sauce ($36).
For something more substantial, there’s the Confit of Duck Leg with Herbed Gnocchi and Caramelised Balsamic Pear ($36).
While you relax and wait for Anthonio’s Yellow Gum honey-drizzled Buffalo Milk Gelato ($14) (made by his mate at Gelatissimo) to wind things up, check out his black and white family photos, and his wall of owned racehorses, which happily “pay for themselves.”
Verde Restaurant & Bar
115 Riley Street, East Sydney
Ph: (02) 9380 8877