“I’ve been friends with the boys for a few years now and sometimes we’d talk about doing something together, it was mostly a joke … chatting with your mates,” D’Elia says. “Then one day we were saying that the Limoncello site was available. I was the head chef there a while ago. It’s a beautiful spot and a shame that it closed, so we looked into it.
The food offering will, of course, be Italian. There will be an array of antipasti, lots of entrées to share and house-made pastas.
“On the menu, for instance, we’ll have three or four individual pastas, then one of them will be for two or three people to share. They’ll change regularly but we might start with spaghetti with lobster or a whole lasagna. I’ll literally bake the lasagna, drop it on your table and you guys can dig in.”
There will also be pizza. The pizza oven is currently en route from Italy; expect the same naturally risen dough and fluffy crusts you get at Da Orazio.
Fashion and interior designer Ian Nessick will be behind the design. It’ll be less Bondi, more Double Bay. There’ll be a deck at the entrance for a “real Italian-style” aperitivo hour, an all-white interior and a long bar.
“It’ll be more refined, not so casual,” says D’Elia.
The next hurdle? “We don’t have a name yet, it’s actually doing my head in, to be honest. But I’m sure we’ll find the right one.”
The restaurant is slated to open mid-June.