The Bondi hub on Hall Street under the Adina apartments has slowly been coming together over the last few months. Venues with a strong team of operators have sporadically been opening, such as Gelato Messina, Mr Moustache and A Tavola. But over the weekend it seemed half of Sydney was dining there when the much-anticipated new eatery by Maurice Terzini, head chef Orazio D’Elia (previously of Popolo) and general manager Rachel Duffy, opened for service.
Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta is a much more informal affair than most of Terzini’s previous restaurants. It’s more North Bondi Italian than it is Icebergs, but with the same attention to detail and the sense of the sparkle in Terzini’s eye. A master of service, Terzini remains sharp on the floor, welcoming diners to the lower level as staff duck in between white painted tables with bubbling pizzas straight out of the wood-fire oven, plates of grilled octopus and lamb skewers with lemon and colourful dishes of tomato, basil and mozzarella.
In line with Terzini’s usual garb, the staff is dressed in a loose-fitting, drapey uniform with hung-crotches, long T-shirts and overall-style aprons, all in white. Designed in close consultation with Melbourne architect Matthew Herbert of Herbert & Mason, the Da Orazio aesthetic has been slated by Terzini as “Rick Owens comes to Bondi”, all fresh and white with pastel pink details; coastal beachy Italian. There’s a big central bar and a wide-open kitchen that runs along one side, showcasing the featured menu staples – six-hour rotisserie porchetta, and wood-fired pizza from the 2.7 tonne brick oven that was imported from Napoli and installed into the space with a crane.
But Da Orazio isn’t all about Terzini. Head chef and long-time kitchen collaborator, previously at Icebergs, Orazio D’Elia is the man responsible for the food at his namesake eatery. It’s a simple Italian offering, but one with fresh flavours, big pinches salt and generous lashings of olive oil. Wine is poured from glass carafes, beers are frothy and Italian and cutlery sits in paper bags on the tables.
Teeming with Terzini energy, this is an everyday, any-day restaurant; the kind of place you could stop into for a quick bite, or round up a gang and settled in for the night over plates of pizza and wine.
Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta
3/75–79 Hall Street, Bondi
(02) 8090 6969
Mon to Fri 5pm–midnight