This grand, Victorian two-storey corner spot comes with quite the pedigree. It made its name as Buzo, one of the first trattoria-style spots to really lift Sydney’s game on Italian cooking. More recently it was the home of young, talented trio, Jemma Whiteman, Mike and Berri Eggert, whose restaurant, Pinbone, won hearts with whimsical, parfait-topped chocolate crackles. The latest shift is a return to the illustrious Italian name under the stewardship of Phillip Fikkers and Mark Campbell from Macleay Street Bistro; but there's a twist - it ain't Italian anymore.
Start your evening downstairs in the bar with a navy-strength Negroni ($18) and some clever Pickled Red Cabbage Crackers ($8) topped with dabs of Parmesan custard.
Venture upstairs for Beetroot and Goats Curd Salad ($19) dotted with honeycomb shards and smoked almonds. In case you haven't already guessed, Head Chef Jason Dean, enjoys “playing with textures and colours in food, and trying not to take it too seriously.”
Dean has been tasked with gently shifting diners away from the spot's strong Italian ancestry with a six course Evolution Menu ($75/person) that's designed to be lighter and fresher than the rustic Italian this spot was once famous for. Confit Kingfish ($35) served with Jerusalem artichoke, crisp red cabbage and green edamame shows off this new menu aesthetic quite nicely.
Tucked under crisp kale leaves and framed with white radish, Cured Wagyu Tartare ($20) is an affable, healthy-looking version of this popular dish. Even the decadence of duck is tamed by presenting the usually rich protein as Duck Ravioli ($32) in a basil and wild mushroom broth.
Never fear, while the Malt Banana Parfait ($15) with coconut yoghurt, white chocolate and blueberries sounds almost healthy, it eats like a late night stoner breakfast.
The wine list's Italian entries are made easy in the hands of competent and personable Maitre d', Stephen Laing. And being Woollahra, you can even BYO ($14) on Wednesdays.
3 Jersey Road, Woollahra
Ph: (02) 9328 1600