When restaurateur Maurice Terzini (Icebergs, The Dolphin Hotel, Bondi Beach Public Bar) opened his Bondi pizza diner Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta in 2014, there weren’t too many pizza places in Bondi – particularly ones working in classic Neopolitan style. By 2019, that had changed, so Terzini decided that Da Orazio was due for a refresh.
Cicciabella opened in October 2019. Initially led by head chef Mitch Orr – of now-closed boundary-pushing pasta restaurant Acme – now Nic Wong is head chef. He’s cooking straight-laced Southern Italian food, garnished with a rebellious streak.
Pizzas have been downsized to smaller pizzetta, with toppings including potato, rosemary and lardo (cured fatback), and ‘nduja, olive and mozzarella. More compact pizza means more room in the enormous woodfired oven to cook other foods, such as fire-blasted whole-roasted fish, pippies and vegetables.
The antipasti menu includes fried calzone with mortadella and tomato, bone marrow with gremolata, and blue swimmer crab and mascarpone toast. What everyone expects from Orr, though, is pasta. And he delivers, with strozzapreti (twisted pasta) with zucchini flowers and pangrattato (breadcrumbs), maltagliati (thinly cut pasta) with braised rabbit and pistachio, and bucatini with osso-buco ragu.
The wine list is Italian-focused and minimal intervention. It leans towards light and fresh easy-drinkers.