From tomorrow May 15, Sydney restaurants and cafes will be able to accommodate up to 10 dine-in guests as long as there’s enough room for people to remain at least 1.5 metres apart.
Marcello Farioli (ex Pendolino and Otto, owner of Woollahra’s I Maccheroni), has decided he’s not going to juggle bookings to accommodate 10 people. Instead, he’s going to let one party (of up to 10) book out his entire 55-person restaurant for $1000.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s a way for people to do something they could not [otherwise] afford at a price that’s affordable,” he tells Broadsheet.
You could have 10 people in your party, or it could just two people, one or seven – the price remains a flat $1000. And for that, you’ll get three courses and $500-worth of drinks. “So, if it’s 10 people, it works out to be $100 per head. We [already] have a booking of four people, and they are happy to divide that by four. I’ll make something special to suit each size,” Farioli says.
He says the reason he’s decided to do dinner bookings like this is his elegant, two-storey restaurant is narrow and doesn’t easily allow for people to practice social distancing. “It’s a massive headache; it would be a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a better way so you are safe, we are safe, we can keep the distance,” he says.
The three courses could include dishes such as Sardinian flat bread with anchovies; spaghettoni vongole (clams); gnocchi alla Romana; and black squid-ink maltagliati (square-shaped pasta) with seafood. There are daily specials and the menu will be crafted to reflect the group size.
The restaurant will continue to offer takeaway and delivery. In addition, from Friday, he’ll open at 6am each day for a quick coffee, panini and pastry available for takeaway (or dine-in if there are 10-or-fewer people with the same plan). Marcello sends out daily texts outlining specials that are available for takeaway dinner that night, and he’s just launched an app to make ordering easier.
The restaurant will continue to offer dinner kits for the week. For $150 you’ll get six meals that are snap frozen in cry-vac bags.
I Maccheroni is accepting whole-of-restaurant bookings via 0403 478 995.