If you thought Sydney didn’t have room for another pasta and wine bar in its heart, think again. From today, Fabbrica’s blue and white checked sign is lighting up Darlinghurst’s Victoria Street.

The Love Tilly Group (Ragazzi, Palazzo Salato) has taken over A Tavola’s former home, retaining the site’s neighbourhood charm – including its defining 18-seat communal table up the front, a lively space out the back and a private dining room upstairs.

“The site came up and it was a space that we all know and love,” executive chef Scott McComas-Williams told Broadsheet ahead of opening. “It’s very Fabbrica, but we also wanted to pay tribute to the beauty of what had been there before.”

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McComas-Williams has worked with head chef Damiano Balducci to create a menu filled with Fabbrica and Ragazzi signatures. There are currently six pasta shapes on the menu (all handmade at the group’s Marrickville production site), including that spaghetti cacio e pepe, tonnarelli with blue swimmer crab and chilli, and prawn and ’nduja nestled among curls of mafaldine.

But a new star is born: lumache pasta shells cocooning morsels of house-made pork-and-chilli sausage with white beans. It’s the dish McComas-Williams is most excited about showing off in Darlo. “It showcases three awesome ingredients and there’s really not much else to it,” he says. “We get the best Spanish white beans and use a Tathra Place pork sausage that we make with a recipe I developed years ago.”

While pasta takes up prime real estate on the menu, it’s definitely not the only thing worth ordering. Starters include ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers with hot honey, a tuna crudo with green apple served alongside lavosh, and thinly shaved Wagyu tonnato. But it wouldn’t be a McComas-Williams venture without an anchovy appearing – a salty curl of cured fish atop a liberal slather of butter on Fabbrica’s own sourdough.

A favourite from the now-closed Balmain pop-up has also found a new home: the cotoletta alla Milanese. McComas-Williams’s hefty take on this traditional secondi is an ode to the pub schnitzel – it arrives generously crusted with the bone on the plate. A side of shaved cabbage piled high with Reggiano and well-dressed in lemon is the ultimate cut-through.

More new and neighbourhood-exclusive dishes will arrive to the menu as seasons change, with a focus on butchery and slow-cooked meats.

As always, group director Matthew Swieboda is on drinks. The wine list reflects a commitment to minimal-intervention Italian and Australian wines. There are classic cocktails, local beers and a thoughtful selection of non-alc options, too.

McComas-Williams wants the locals to make Fabbrica their own. “You can come in and have a quick bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, or you can settle into the room upstairs and have a few bottles, some snacks, bowls of pasta and enjoy,” he says. “A neighbourhood pasta bar just makes sense – I don’t know what suburb wouldn’t want that.”

Fabbrica Pasta Bar
348 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

Hours:
Mon to Thu 5pm–9.30pm
Fri & Sat midday–10pm
Sun midday–9pm

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