Bar Lettera will be a restaurant in a hotel, not a hotel restaurant.

“Of course we’re in the gorgeous Citadines hotel, and the hotel is a very important consideration for us,” says Bar Lettera head chef Ryan Perry, “But we’ve built this restaurant to capture the hearts and imagination of North Sydney and the Greater Sydney region.”

When it opens at the end of the month, Bar Lettera will be the centrepiece of the Citadines Walker North Sydney, a hotel which is right in the thick of the action on the other side of the bridge – near Luna Park and all the corporate headquarters and new developments cropping up here.

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For chef Perry – who was part of the opening team at Woodcut and Longshore, and has worked at dearly missed Sydney classics such as The Bridge Room and Momofuku Seiobo – the Bar Lettera brief of upmarket, approachable, Australian-ish food is well within his wheelhouse. But this is his first chance to run the show himself, and he’s relishing the opportunity.

“I’m very, very lucky to have this opportunity,” Perry says. “This is my third time that I’ve helped to open a venue, but it’s my first time doing it without another chef above me pulling the strings. It’s so rewarding to be able to do this and be in creative control of my menu.”

That menu will feature a broad à la carte selection, with plates in a variety of sizes, designed to be shared. To start off, there’ll be a range of antipasti (such as LP’s mortadella and Saison salami) to enjoy with the house signature bread; freshly shucked oysters; and a burrata that Perry is surprisingly excited about.

“I wasn’t expecting to have a burrata as one of my favourite starters, but I’ve found the biggest, most gorgeous burrata I could get my hands on, and I’ve matched it with crisp bitter flavours instead of the old basil and tomato,” Perry says .

You can find more subversions of Italian classics on the pasta list, all made with Fabbrica pasta. One standout is sure to be the duck ragu rigatoni which, a bit like a vodka penne, uses Davidson’s plum gin for the sauce. Elsewhere, as required by law at restaurants in hotels, there’s a rib eye on the menu – served here with blistered tomatoes, mustard and a pale ale jus.

You can enjoy it all with a fun, mainly Australian wine list focusing on old world styles made with new world grapes, and a nice variety of Italian-inflected cocktails. It’s all set within a warm but contemporary space by local agency Jordan Design Studio. Guests staying at the hotel will also get to enjoy breakfast at Bar Lettera, too.

Bar Lettera is due to open at the end of April.