Restaurants. We’re talking restaurants.

Sydney is not short of an Italian eatery or two, so we’ve collated a list of our top 5 personal favourites across the city right now to suit all budgets, where the quality of cuisine is authentic and the service is superior to match:

 

BAR REGGIO $

If atmosphere and budget is your thing, then Bar Reggio in Darlinghurst offers a great casual dining experience. The restaurant has been around for over 15 years offering both dine in and take away options, and it’s BYO too. What you save on corkage, you certainly don’t scrimp on atmosphere. The Mediterranean style courtyard is always buzzing and gives a real sense of European style dining.

The pizzas are excellent, and the pasta dishes are simple, home-cooked with generous servings. Check the specials board for hearty dishes such as Rosemary Lamb with Mash and Veg, and there are set menu options which work well for large groups, offering a selection of all the house dishes meaning you can try a bit of everything.

Be aware; this isn’t somewhere you want to come for a leisurely meal – Reggio is quick and easy; the place is always pumping so it’s worth calling ahead to book, and they stick to fairly strict seating times as people queue around the block to get in on a Friday night (which says it all, really!).

What: Bar Reggio

When: 12 noon – 11pm, Closed Sundays

Where: 135 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Web: barreggio.com.au

 

CAFE VICOLO $$

With an Italian inspired breakfast and lunch menu this is a great mid-week spot. Popular with cityworkers, Vicolo oozes character set in an old Victorian warehouse; the exposed brickwork and original features of the Kent Street cafe just add to the urban charm of this rustic Italian hotspot.

The menu is created by head chef Mario Izzo who was born and raised in the south of Italy, which is where he honed his skills from a young age. The menu – as he describes it- is simple, fresh, seasonal and, of course, authenticly Italian. It sure has an ease about it and makes a cool location to enjoy an upmarket lunch with friends or colleagues.IMG_1920

The house-baked Gnocchi is one of the best I’ve tasted in the city, and the Burrata salad is substantial with creamy mozzarella bursting over fresh cherry tomatoes and proscuitto. Other stand out offerings include the focaccia, a mix of salumi and formaggi for the table to share, and you must, if you have room, try the house made Tiramisu.

A few months back the they tested out evenings but I would certainly get yourself down during the week for a corporate lunch and exceptional coffee.

What: Cafe Vicolo

When: 6.30 am – 4pm, Monday – Friday

Where: 346 – 348 Kent St., Sydney NSW 2000

Web: cafevicolo.com.au

 

M&Co.14.5.2016-25 MARGHERITA’S VINOTECA & Co $$$

Whether it’s a quick bite you’re after or a more formal dinner, World Square’s latest eatery has both. Margherita & Co is a contemporary dining space with one side of the Hordern Arcade geared up to casual dining as a takeaway pasta and pizzeria, the other has just opened as a chic high-end wine bar and 190 seater restaurant.

The delicious menu has been crafted by Executive Chef Robert Taylor (Formerly of Swine & Co.) Notable dishes include the Semolino Dusted Calamari, a belissima pizza selection and gourmet pasta dishes. You can tell a lot about a restaurant, I believe, by the standard of its bolognese, and M&Co’s classic dish was cooked to perfection. The selection of handmade gelato on offer is definitely worth saving some room for and there’s an impressive wine list too- my fave being the Chianti.

The opening of the main restaurant, Margherita’s Vinoteca, was a glamourous affair attended by the city’s socialites and a who’s who of the foodie scene a few weeks back. With modern decor and contemporary cuisine, this is sure to be a gastronomic hit.

What: Margherita & Co and Margherita’s VinotecaM&Co.14.5.2016-2

When: 11am – late, Monday – Sunday

Where: Shop 15, 91 Liverpool Street, Sydney, 2000

Web: universalhotels.com.au/margherita-cos-vinoteca 

 

SIGNORELLI GASTRONOMIA $$$$$

Now for something a little different. If you’re looking to impress, then the multiple award-winning Signorelli Gastronomia will deliver. The venue is situated in the ground floor of the google building, with a spacious almost industrial feel, open kitchens and an onsite food emporium. Private dining is available within the wine room, and be sure to ask to see the cheese room. Cheese dreams are made of these.

Signorelli’s has a fascinating history, as the location has a very special significance to the Signorelli family; it is the spot where Biaggio Signorelli first set down his suitcase as a 19 year old from Poggioreale in Trapani, Sicily. There is a brass statue of the family outside the venue celebrating Australian migration.

But as for dining, then the roast suckling pig, or Porchetta, is a real feature.

What: Signorelli Gastronomia

When: Lunch 12-3pm, Dinner 6pm – Late, Thurs- Saturday

Where: Ground Floor Trouton Place, Pyrmont NSW 2009 (opposite Metcalfe Park)

Websignorelli.com.au

 

OSTERIA BALLA MANFREDI $$$$$

At the luxe end of the spectrum, award-winning Aussie/Italian chef Stefano Manfredi redefines the classic osteria Milanese, at Osteria Balla Manfredi in the Star complex. Named after the futurist poet and painter Giacomo Balla, Osteria Balla Manfredi’s menu features a newly revived and more urbane cuisine reflecting the region of Stefano’s birth. Highlights include the selection of fresh seafood, meat and vegetables cooked over the 100 year old seasoned ironbark wood-fired grill. The Osteria Balla Manfredi wine list sits perfectly alongside Manfredi’s menu, offering an Chef’s Hatted all-Italian selection not found anywhere else in Australia.

Diners are met by a raised Aperitivi Bar, overlooking the 140 seat dining room and floor-to-ceiling glass windows which frame views of Sydney’s harbour, city and bridge. The restaurant is also home to a beautiful private dining room which can seat up to 20 guests. The latest menu can be found here: https://www.star.com.au/sydney-restaurants/signature-fine-dining/balla Balla

What: Osteria Balla Manfredi

When: Lunch 12 noon – 2.30pm, Mon-Fri, Dinner 5.30pm – 9.30pm (10pm Fri & Sat) Closed Sundays

Where: Level G, The Harbourside, The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street 2009

Web: manfredi.com.au

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