In early 2019, Hyde Park institution The Pot became neighbourhood pasta and aperitivo bar Nido. The team behind Simon Kardachi’s rebranded venue includes Osteria Oggi managing partner Chris Woodcock and Max Sharrad, The Pot’s most recent head chef, who was named Young Chef of the Year in the 2018 Appetite for Excellence awards.
The brief at Nido (“nest” in Italian) leans towards dishes you want to eat at home but don’t necessarily have the time to make. The pork ragu, for example, isn’t what you’d whip up after work. Top-quality pork mince comes from Parma Handcrafted Cured Meats, sugo is made in-house with Ngeringa tomatoes, and the accompanying fresh pasta is hand-rolled daily.
The kitchen team has almost doubled. It includes former Orana pastry chef (and Sharrad’s wife) Laura Cassai, who has 18 months’ experience as a pasta-development chef under Andre Ursini.
More intricate dishes are built on sustainable proteins – a common thread in Sharrad’s cooking. A native riff on vitello tonnato, rechristened “rootello bonnato”, swaps out veal for kangaroo and uses a bonito-spiked mayonnaise instead of the traditional tuna. A pasta dish in acqua pazza (“crazy water” in Italian) uses Coorong mulloway – from top to tail – poached in a light broth.
This is a restaurant, but you’re just as welcome to pull up a stool at the bar, order a drink, and pick at a plate of salumi or pillowy gnocco fritto (crisp, fried dough). The similarly doughy pane ripieno – available for lunch or a late-night snack – is stuffed before frying. Fillings include pork meatball, scamorza and basil; braised kale with garlic and chilli; or trippa bianca (tripe) and white pepper.
Keeping pace with the kitchen, the bar stocks mainly Italo-centric wines. Choose from around 35 bottles, including some large-format options, or there’s a tight aperitivo-heavy cocktail list.
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