A little ray of sunshine has burst through the concrete brutalism of Australia Square.
Its warmth can be felt in the greeting of Kate McMahon, who brings her expertise (and a martini) from Catalina.
Tim Holmes à Court and Daimon Downey, the other two owners, get their own nod on the cocktail list, in the form of a well-balanced Pelicano Martini ($18).
Though, if you ask me, nothing washes away the workday quite like a Negroni ($16).
Chef Peter Streckfuss, also exported from Catalina, dishes up a short menu of simple Italian food using premium ingredients.
Pasta portion sizes, like Lasagna Di Carne ($24), seem geared towards ensuring the predominantly female audience get to eat dessert.
And Ilaria’s Ricotta Cake ($14) is certainly a nice way to finish, though perhaps with less of the intensely sweet, floral honey topping.
While the wine list has bottles available for around forty bucks, splash out on the 2011 Giant Steps Arthurs Creek Chardonnay ($80/bottle). It’s a real star, particularly when taken al fresco, sitting under a lemon tree, on a gloriously balmy night.
It’ll suit Sydney Rock Oysters ($4.50/each) or stand up to...
...their shared boards of Antipasti ($16/person), won by perfectly ripe Testun di Barolo cheese.
Veal Milanese ($34) will help address any larger appetites.
The Lemon Tree
Australia Square Piazza, Corner Pitt and Bond Streets, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9241 1685