Alex Harmon was lucky enough to get the opportunity to check out a new restaurant by the man who produced one of my favourite Italian meals of 2010. Here's what she thought of his new venture...
Being the only restaurant in Sydney that serves the traditional cuisine stemming from the Emilia-Romagna region, owner Andrea Riva - who also brought us the charming Amarcord - will proudly deny any requests for pizza. Handmade pastas are the specialty here, and with centuries of tradition behind them, they’re confident in their innate abilities. Placing ourselves in owner/chef Andrea’s capable hands, we’re presented with Fried Calamari ($14), served with zucchini and prawns in a paper cone. The presentation takes me back to a beach in southern England and British seaside fare; though it’s far from sad or soggy.
Gnocchi Dell’osteria ($24) is their colourful house bouquet of beetroot, gnocchi, succulent prawns and clams. The Cappelletti with Sage Butter ($22) are filled with ricotta and topped with ragù. Our charming waitress explains our little bundles of joy are "shaped like the hats that the priests wore”.
They're also al dente, and exceptionally tasty. Perhaps that’s why popping a tablet-shaped piece of fried potato topped with Chargrilled Baby Octopus ($24) into my mouth straight afterward had me whispering ‘divine’?
My final Coconut Tart with Chocolate Sauce ($9) was so good, I wish I could assure you it’ll always be up there on Andrea’s blackboard.
1/96 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction
Ph: (02) 9369 4071