This week Alex Harmon made the trek down south for a visit to this Cronulla hot spot...
It was once a library but there’s nothing solitary about Mario Kalpou’s stunning Cronulla restaurant. With floor to ceiling windows – it’s the place to be seen down south.
The drinks menu is a page-turner, including a “how much do you love her” section. Instinctively our waitress presents a 2010 Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio ($13/glass, $56 bottle), perfect for lazy Sunday lunches.
Like the decor, there’s nothing librarian like about the gorgeous staff, flitting around in denim uniforms. The signature Roast Figs, Prosciutto, Goat’s Cheese ($22) with truffle honey, enlivened the palate; unfortunately the prosciutto is used tenuously, almost like a garnish.
Crumbed Pig’s Trotter ($25) gets things back on track, cleverly looking like falafel and summoning the sea by being served with scampi in its own shell.
Danny Russo co-created the menu, merging seaside Australian with Italian elegance but it’s David McGill in the kitchen making Braided and Pressed Lamb Shoulder ($37) with the texture of pulled meat, presented immaculately on top of an eggplant, zucchini and anchovy medley.
Rare Swordfish ($38) is picture-postcard-perfect, with layers of flavour including an orange salt that slow dances with the tangy avocado.
We wouldn’t be ladies who lunch without dessert - Banana Soufflé ($16) with peanut brittle gelato ends the meal swimmingly.
The Old Library
2/15-17 Surf Road Cronulla
Ph: (02) 9544 5360