I love all things Italian. And Sydney is more spoilt for choice than ever before, with so many places serving authentic Italian food, lots of it regional. Our offering covers the full spectrum, from cutting-edge-modern to Nonna-style-traditional, from big-night-out to grab-a-bite-on-the-way-home. We have great pizze, pasta, gelati and so much more – and I love it all – but these are the tried and tested ones I find myself going back to for a fine dining experience Italian-style.
Is a’Mare Sydney’s most romantic restaurant? Glamorous harbour side setting – check! Caviar & Champagne – check! Old school table-side service – check! Superb food and wine – check! Ahhhh a’Mare – I think I’m in love!
Pilu at Freshwater, Freshwater
Sipping a sbagliato negroni, nibbling carta di musica with house-made ricotta and watching the sunset colours over the ocean here is my favourite end to the week. Add pecorino brodo, Giovanni Pilu’s roast suckling pig, deep-fried-cheese-filled-honey-drizzled seadas and a list full of little-known Sardinian wines and beers … and you get the picture.
Ormeggio at The Spit, Mosman
In Milan, it’s Carlo Cracco, and in Sydney it’s Alessandro Pavoni and Victor Moya who provide my mod-Italian fix. The Middle Harbour views, creative cicchetti (bring back eggplant parmigiana please!), a degustation of artful dishes (including superb risotto) and a wine list that covers the length and breadth of Italy – what’s not to love?
Buon Ricordo, Paddington
There are few more comfortingly familiar dining rooms than the beautiful, art-filled space created by Armando Percuocco in 1987 and passed on to his head chef David Wright 30 years later. The old (deep-fried harbour prawns) sits alongside the new (grilled scampi with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing). Pasta is still perfectly al dente, wine matches are spot on thanks to veteran sommelier Nick Caraturo and white jacketed waiters plate dishes tableside with old worlds flair.
The Restaurant Pendolino, in Sydney’s historic Strand Arcade, mixes old-world charm with a moody New York loft atmosphere. Here Nino Zoccali adds modern presentation to classic Italian dishes using the finest produce to create a memorable dining experience.
Updated 28 March 2022