Armed with dinner plans and an appetite, your initial reaction when entering Bar Nonno might be one of disappointment – how can you indulge and recline, like an Italian, on a bar stool? Staff with thick accents will be quick to ease your concerns. “There are more tables down here,” they’ll say, leading you through a sheltered courtyard to a cosy space out the back. This semi-detached room – where white tablecloths and cushioned banquettes meet walls lined with wine barrel lids – is exactly what you had in mind.
Bar Nonno is a nod to the owner’s Italian grandfather, who came to Australia in 1938. With a 120-strong, mostly biodynamic wine list, raising your glass to Nonno is a cinch. Bottle prices are reasonable (that room with the bar stools is actually a bottle shop, so you can buy and then guzzle). If your vino knowledge is limited, staff will astutely match glasses to spuntini (snacks) such as scallops sandwiched between sweet black venere rice and blue swimmer crab, or scamorza and pea arancini. Mains have all proteins covered, but the thin-crust pizzas are most likely to score Nonno’s approval. Try the tartufata with fior di late, truffle paste, mushrooms and prosciutto.