Tappo Osteria, the highly anticipated second restaurant by Peter Zuzza, opened its doors earlier this month after taking over the former Libiamo restaurant in Pyrmont. Zuzza is no stranger to the Sydney restaurant scene. His family ran Glebe’s legendary Mixing Pot restaurant for 25 years and since 2010, Zuzza has operated Haberfield’s La Disfida, which has established a glowing reputation for its wood-fired pizzas.

Partnering with his brother-in-law Gary Lopane, it would be unfitting if the new venture didn’t have a wood-fire oven onsite. There’s not a tablecloth to be seen here. Instead, the narrow dining room is fitted with treated wooden tables among dark textured walls. As expected, the menu boasts an impressive selection of pizza toppings, from crudaiola (fresh tomato with garlic basil olive oil and pine nuts) to salsiccia e funghi (pork and fennel sausage with wild mushrooms), all served with Italian Fior di Latte Mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes.

But pizza isn’t the only focus here. Starters are offered in three parts: qualcosina (which translates to ‘something little’), fritti and antipasti, with plates such as squid and ink (lightly battered calamari fritti with squid ink mayonnaise) and croquette di baccala alla Tappo (salt cod croquettes served with aioli). While the blackboard features daily specials from the open kitchen, house-made pasta is a highlight with the vegetarian-friendly gnocchi dressed in eggplant, basil, tomato and ricotta. Truffles are celebrated with the tagliatelle, served with petit truffled meatballs and cima di rapa (a slightly peppery green).

For dessert, traditional tiramisu is scooped tableside straight from the tray, while a subtle hazelnut pannacotta is accompanied by poached pears and house-made biscotti. On the beverage side of things, there’s a smattering of local and imported varieties including unfiltered drops from Italian microbreweries. There is little reason to stray from this cosy Italian tavern.

Tappo Osteria
2/14 Bunn Street, Pyrmont (corner of Pyrmont and Bunn Streets)

Dinner, Tues to Sat 5pm–10.30pm
Lunch, Wed to Fri noon–2.30pm