Conte is a 38-seater bar celebrating the Italian ritual of aperitivo and digestivo. Owner Raffaele Lombard opened the bar in homage to his upbringing on the Sorrento coast, where locals sip and enjoy the cocktail before and after most meals.
The recipe for a classic Negroni is deceptively simple: equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari, plus an orange twist. But like any simple recipe, only top-shelf ingredients will yield the best results. The recipe for Lombard’s version is a closely guarded secret, but he says the key is good-quality Italian vermouth.
Named for the inventor of the drink, Conte Camillo Negroni, his venue is based on a 1920s-style Tuscan wine bar with a bit of American speakeasy thrown in. The green Italian-marble bar runs from the main room into the open kitchen and the brick-red walls are decorated with Italian film and drink artwork.
The menu consists of small plates, some with an obvious nod to the celebrated aperitivo, and others that complement the drink. Smallgoods from Pino’s Dolce Vita in Kogarah include Negroni-infused salami, prosciutto di Parma and bresaola, and there’s Negroni-infused dressing for the appellation oysters. Burratina is served with ’nduja and friariello, a bitter green that’s an Italian staple.
Although Negronis are the star of the show, the digestivo selection is equally special. On offer is Lombard’s personal collection, including bottles rarely found in any bar here or in Italy.
You can also stop by during the day, when Bar Conte becomes a spot for coffee by Ona, plus classic biscuits imported from Italy, and pastries.
Phone: No phone
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