Joe Natale opened Giro Osteria because his fiancée had a dream. “We were thinking we’d try something,” he says. “And one morning, she said ‘Joe, I had a dream about Cronulla, let’s go for a drive.’”
Soon after the fateful dream, the former Rambutan owner, Oriana De Luca, packed up and moved from Surry Hills to sunny Cronulla. They also convinced their old friend, former La Scala chef, Ruben Martinez, to head south. Giro Osteria was born.
Based on an Italian restaurant’s style of serving a restricted menu, Giro Osteria limits itself to six or seven seasonal items that change frequently. While Martinez is Ecuadorian, his meals are uncompromisingly Italian. “He doesn’t like to play around with the traditional Italian recipes,” explains Natale. “Everything’s about keeping it real.”
Keeping it real means dishes like whole snapper cooked in filtered seawater served with cherry tomatoes and lemon leaves; beef carpaccio prepared using the 1950s recipe from Harry’s Bar; and slices of imported and house-made salumi.
The wine list, designed by De Luca, concentrates on Italian wines and a few Australian varietals, and are mostly biodynamic. “They’re not your usual suspects that you’d find in an Italian restaurant,” Natale explains.
Equally important to the food and booze is Giro Osteria’s exceptional view out over North Cronulla Beach (or Northies, if you’re a local), which on a summer’s evening would be among the best spots anywhere in the city.
For his part, Natale says he’s never enjoyed being a restaurateur as much as he does at Giro; and he reckons the locals are liking it too. “They’re loving it. Now that we’ve got a hat, they’re so patriotic and proud,” he says. “They feel like they’re in Surry Hills; some of them even feel like they’re in Italy.”
1 McDonald Street, Cronulla
02 9523 0137