Farm-to-table restaurant Acre Eatery in Sydney’s inner west is taking its menu – and guests – on a trip across the globe: it is transforming its glasshouse dining room into a Tuscan farmhouse. For six weeks, starting this Wednesday July 3, Acre’s new menu will be based on traditional and modern Italian cooking.
Executive head chef Gareth Howard (ex-Jamie’s Italian) is from Wales but studied cooking under Italian chef and restaurateur Gennaro Contaldo. The menu and the Italian takeover are nods to his old mentor, and a way of sharing more of the country’s customs and cuisines, from Piemonte and Lombardia in the north to Sicily and Calabria in the south.
In the mornings, Sicilian breakfast plates will be served on the al fresco terrace: black pig ham, free-range egg, caponata, focaccia, fresh fruit, brioche and sweetened coffee. The terrace is a respite from urban Sydney, with hanging flowers and olive and citrus trees – all overlooking Camperdown Commons garden.
For lunch and dinner the eatery will serve antipasti and pizzas on the deck, or if you want something a little bigger, head inside for mains such as chicken Milanese (breaded chicken), and lamb infused with lemon and fennel.
A dessert trolley will be circulating, with 35 traditional Italian sweets including orange polenta cake, glazed fruit tarts, cannoli and tiramisu. There will also be house-made gelato.
Different regions will be highlighted over the pop-up, so there will also be a creamy carbonara from Rome, and tomato and meatballs from Italy’s south. There’ll be a series of classes and collaborations every Friday night, so you can learn how to perfect porchetta in an outdoor wood fire, or learn how to make focaccia and mozzarella. A dinner will be prepared with truffle producer 4 Winds on July 20, and a four-course Sicilian dinner with a Hunter Valley wine producer will happen on August 2.
A three-course set menu is available Wednesdays to Fridays, and there will be a pizza and apertivo special on Wednesdays, and an aperitivo happy hour Thursdays and Fridays.
Acre Eatery’s Italian farmhouse pop-up is at 31A Mallett Street, Camperdown and will run from Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, August 18.
This article was updated on July 4, 2019.