Chef Adam Swanson spent five months in Italy before opening Lot.1 Sydney. He went everywhere, learning how to make prosciutto, Parmigiano and all the other staples of Italian cuisine. This is the Adelaide native’s first venture in Sydney, and he wanted to get it right.
His team transformed the heritage-listed John Solomon building into a 400-seat, multi-level drinking-and-dining hub. It fuses the homeliness of Italian culture with a decadence inspired by grand venues in London and New York.
The interior is striking. The historical site dates back to 1878 – it used to house the National Cash Reserve and the Grace Brothers head office. Now timber swirls throughout the space, intending to evoke the swirls of a coffee.
In the restaurant Swanson uses local and South Australian produce (such as Barossa pork) to plate up accomplished dishes such as spaghettini with beetroot and buffalo ricotta; pork belly with fennel; and goat’s cheese crostini. As befits the surrounds, you can also splash out on giaveri beluga caviar and pair with Dom Perignon.
Next door to the restaurant is an espresso bar, which opens early to serve takeaway coffees through a street-facing window, as well as breakfast and lunch. From 5pm the bar serves aperitivo snacks for the post-work to graze on with an Aperol Spritz in hand.
Below the restaurant is the basement bar, a cool, moody space reminiscent of an old-school gentleman’s club. It has its own Italian street-food offerings, such as fried pizzettas, arancini balls and salumi.