The gleaming surfaces in this beautifully decked out Crown Street newbie scream ‘great train journey’ to me.
So climb aboard for a luxury trip to 1940s Sicily!
First stop: house-made breads, amazing olives, a couple of cocktails including a Fig Daiquiri ($16)...
...and a marvelously simple Crudo of Tuna ($15) that celebrates fish.
There may have also been a plate of delicious offerings from the bakery. I do remember a fluffy ham and cheese calzone to die for. (Who knew calzone could have the texture of an Italian doughnut?!)
After an in-depth explanation of Sicily’s wine renaissance from conductor (and Restaurant Manager) Fabio Nistrio, he produces a 2009 Cantele-Teresa Manara Chardonnay ($14/glass) from Puglia. It suits the aforementioned tuna and a rather endearing bowl of Italian Style Three Bean Soup with Mussels ($15) and soft house-made croutons too.
Beautiful women abound; the curvaceous Sophia Loren tops the menu, and our equally delightful Latvian waitress (Italian is her fourth language) steers me to a cracking bowl of hand-twisted Maccheroni Della Nonna ($24).
Fabio gently warns that the tasty polpetti (meatballs) contained within the decadent sauce are pinkish inside. Don’t pay this any mind, just stuff pork belly, mince, little nuggets of salsicce (Italian pork sausage) and glorious pasta your teeth will enjoy, into your gob.
Tasty yet simplistic Spatchcock ($24) braised with onions, carrot, thyme and tomato is also worth ordering, but do leave room for pastries!
You know, it’s the way the filled-to-order Ricotta Cannolo ($6) shatter that really matters.
My meal was so charming it was fiendishly hard to disembark! Luckily they sweetened the moment with a box of take-home pastries.
Rumour has it their coffee-art is something to behold in the morning too. I suspect I will be back to inspect it forthwith.
628 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9699 8787