A monolithic central bar dominates the spacious, industrial-chic room. Post up with or without a booking to nibble on the likes of cacio e pepe arancini, kingfish crudo with vivid mandarin and pungent colatura fish sauce, duck mortadella with blood orange mostarda and vitello tonnato with smoked eel and capers. This is drinking food, and the wine list doesn’t disappoint.
Every page of the list is full of small delights, from the Bloody “Madonna” made with basil-infused vodka to the list of well-priced Italian and Australian natural wines. There’s also a serious beer list with hazy IPAs and wild-fermented sours, something even top restaurants regularly neglect.
If you’re here for a more extended meal, make for the bentwood chairs and squishy banquettes, which add a comforting bistro accent to what’d otherwise be a stark restaurant.
There are substantial mains such as bistecca and porchetta, but the left-of-centre pizzas are a must. The bases are a noticeably light sourdough, made from heritage-wheat flour and fired in a hybrid gas-woodfire oven. Margherita is present and accounted for, but from there it’s a sharp turn into brave new ideas. Ideas like straciatella, fermented cavolo nero and chilli. Or mortadella, black shallots, taleggio and pistachio. Or Moreton Bay bug, heirloom tomato and marjoram. Selected cheeses are made at Grana, the deli and cheese shop next door.
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars