Enzo & Sons’ origins go all the way back to owner Siarah Webb’s native England, where she learnt how to cook. “We had an Italian lodger,” she says. “He gave me a book when I was a teenager and we used to cook together. That really started my love of Italian food.”
Later, before moving to Australia, Webb worked in New York and has looked to tap some of her favourite bits of Manhattan’s Italian dining scene for her new venue. “I used to work in film and I’d take all of our crew to a place called Frank in East Village, ” she says. “It was so much fun and casual – simple food with just a good glass of vino and you were happy.”
Webb’s time working with chef Jonathan Bryant at the now-defunct Cabiria in the CBD has also influenced Enzo & Sons. The duo hatched a loose plan to one day open an Italian bar and eatery. The opportunity never presented itself – until now.
Enzo & Sons opened on Saturday in the Caxton Street premises previously occupied by gastropub Statler & Waldorf. An unfussy fit-out leans on the site’s “old bones” – exposed red-brick walls, large windows, a sizeable bar and a courtyard – to create an approachable Italian eatery with a casual but “dark and sexy” vibe. “I’ve been waiting for something to sink my teeth into. This site came up and it’s brilliant,” Webb says.
It makes sense, too. In recent years, Webb and Bryant have been involved in Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall and Seymour’s Cocktails and Oysters, owned by Webb’s husband, Jamie. Both are neighbours of the Caxton Street site.
Enzo & Sons’ regional Italian menu is simple but delivered “with the very best ingredients” Webb says. Pared-back wood-fired pizzas made with fermented dough, and handmade pasta are served alongside vegetarian dishes such as zucchini carpaccio, a dish borrowed from the venue’s namesake, De Enzo, the Webbs’ favourite restaurant in Rome.
Plenty of Italian varietals feature on the wine list alongside some Australian labels. But it’s a long line-up of spritzes that take centre stage; signature drinks the Garibaldi and Campari and freshly squeezed grapefruit are the real stars of this Italian show.
Enzo & Sons
25 Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace
07 3189 7225
Wed & Thu 5pm–late
Fri to Sun 12pm–late