With the popularity of Double Bay’s Pelicano Bar a clear indication that it’s onto a winner (not to mention a string of successful pop-ups), hospitality duo Tim Holmes a Court and Daimon Downey have opened something new.

This time they’ve teamed up with Kate McMahon (of Catalina) to open The Lemon Tree Italian restaurant in Australia Square, serving southern Italian fare in fresh, whitewashed surrounds. A combination of the playful energy of Pelicano and the timeless elegance of Catalina, The Lemon Tree turns out classic and fresh dishes on the light side of Italian dining, courtesy of head chef Peter Streckfuss (previously of Catalina).

“Southern Italy, particularly the Amalfi Coast, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The food is delicious and simple, but outside of Italy so many people get it wrong,” says Holmes a Court. “We are really proud of the menu we’re offering at The Lemon Tree and we picked dishes that we feel best showcase the region that we know and love.”

A clean, white palette lets the pink terrazzo bar take centre stage thanks to the handiwork of interior designer Tamsin Johnson. Details include custom citrus-patterned tiles imported from Amalfi and linen banquette seating.

One the menu is portobello mushrooms with creamy rosemary polenta and taleggio; lasagne di carne; and spaghetti a vongole. Desserts include tiramisu and a classic affogato. The menu is short and sweet and the dishes almost retro in their comforting familiarity. But don’t be fooled – this is anything but your tired-old Italian. This team knows what it’s doing.

The Lemon Tree
Australia Square Piazza (Corner Pitt and Bond Streets), Sydney
(02) 9241 1685

Mon to Fri noon–midnight