If I had known that picturesque Watsons Bay was home to Sydney’s only Sicilian restaurant, I would have taken this ambling drive sooner.
The nautical architecture suits the glassy harbour view, reflecting the last vestiges of a bright pink sky as we bite into the succulent baby calamari of the Calamaretti Soffritti ($16.90).
The charming Chef Paolo Patane (looking rather dapper in his Italian Mario Batali-styled shoes and Italian food-themed pants) speaks warmly of the Cucina Povera he presents in the compelling Frittelle de Nonnata ($14.90) served up with seaweed salad and a bright capsicum puree.
He stays true to the spirit of this humble, peasant cuisine which eschews wastage with his own thriving herb garden, visible from the dining room. Seeing him growing his own herbs makes me inordinately happy, and I ponder this as I eat them in the Ravioli al Granchio e Limone ($25.50), house-made crab and avocado ravioli with capers and a lemon sauce.
A bowl of Penne alla Siciliana ($15.90) is simple but heavenly, showcasing the creamy eggplant, set off by baked ricotta.
Scaloppine al Passito de Pantelleria ($25.50) is Muscat cooked veal so tender I ‘cut’ it with my fork.
The generous serve of moist swordfish Pesce Spada alla Messinese ($33.90) goes beautifully with our Sicilian recommendation from the keenly priced Italian wine list, the Syrah Botticella ($8/glass, $42/bottle).
Sicily’s proximity to Turkey explains the excellent Turkish Delight Biscotti, but it’s the ricotta-filled Sicilian Cannoli ($9.00) that inspire my vow to return forthwith. Viva Sicily!
Gusto Kitchen & Bar
27 Military Road, Watsons Bay
Ph: (02) 9388 8827