In normal times, it’s very hard to get a table at petite pasta bar Ragazzi. So, one silver lining of these times is that more people will actually get a chance to try some of the best pasta in Sydney. There are two ways to get Ragazzi’s wares: first up, there’s Uber Eats, which delivers most of the old menu (we’ve missed you, mafaldine alla gricia). But if you’d rather try cooking it yourself, the team also dispatches pasta and wine boxes on a weekly basis – booking is essential. More information here.
Ragazzi is an Italian joint from Scott Williams, Nathaniel Hatwell and Mathew Swieboda. Williams heads up the kitchen, he’s an enthusiastic and accomplished pasta-crafter whose previous chef stints included heading the kitchen at Movida Sydney and Bacco Osteria e Espresso. Hatwell and Swieboda meanwhile, are the brains behind two of Sydney’s best wine bars, Love, Tilly Devine and Dear Sainte Eloise.
It’s a tiny spot on Angel Place about the size of a local corner store. But, thanks to a long bar that seats 10, it still manages to snugly fit 40 people. It doesn’t matter that there’s not a lot of space, though, because Ragazzi isn’t a formal white-tablecloth venue. It’s more an Italian-style wine bar, where you go for a vino rosso (red wine) after work or to smash a quick bowl of cavatelli (ovular, ribbed pasta shaped like thin shells) with pipis and house-made pork sausage during your lunch break.
But it’s not pouring only Italian wine. Felix Colman (ex-Movida) runs the floor, offering the 300-bottle-strong wine list and a menu spruiking whatever Williams has decided to make that week. You’ll probably see the cavatelli, a cacio e pepe, and a goat ragu mafaldine (long ribbon-shaped pasta) with ricotta and radicchio on the opening menu, but a week later it may all be different.
Whatever changes though, Ragazzi is always roughly based on a menu structure that reads like this: a handful of snacks, six or so pastas, two bigger protein-led dishes, a duo of salads or greens followed by a dessert, several gelati and cheese. Excitingly, for a CBD restaurant, the pastas will all be under $30. The venue is a bit more polished than Hatwell and Swieboda’s other venues. The dark and moody room is lined with leather banquettes, with textured walls and dark bentwood chairs.