It was a good news day when I heard Table Manners was moving into the old Wet Paint digs in Bronte. A breezy wine-powered spot a reasonable walking distance from home? Big win. The new restaurant and bar – recognised by the glossy, green-tiled facade – comes fresh from Alex Cameron, a Bronte local whose hospo career includes managing Armorica, Parlar and Franca.

Moving away from the lavishness of that trio (but without losing a lick of niceness), the brief for his first solo project is casual cool. “[In this area], if you want to go to a wine-bar style restaurant, you always end up in Darlinghurst or Surry Hills. I wanted to do something European, with easily recognisable comfort food with a broad ranging wine list. I like the family nature of the suburb, which’ll suit the style.”

The menu’s approachable, with charcuterie, raw dishes, club sandwiches and mains joining a few pastas, like the fried spaghetti Cameron first saw on Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy.

Never miss a Sydney moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

“That’s going to be our take on Assassin’s Pasta, an old Puglian dish – spaghetti all'assassina,” Cameron says. “You put dry spaghetti in a deep frying pan with hot oil, and you add a stock-based sauce. You just keep pouring ladles of that into the pan, which causes the pasta to steam and half cook.” The hot pan will caramelise the sauce around the strands of pasta, giving a “really intense, almost sweet and crunchy flavour”. It’ll be cooked enough to twist around your fork, but the centre will still have bite. Luke Churchill (ex-Parlar, Oncore by Clare Smyth, The Butler) is coming on as head chef, marking his first time at the helm of a kitchen.

The food joins a wine list Cameron designed himself, where unique drops join classics. The fit-out, from award-winning designer Blainey North, will be awash in green, with art-covered walls and a candlelit glow.

The Macpherson Street spot will be the only one of its type in the surrounding streets, near completing the beachy neighbourhood’s offering. There’s a mechanic next door, Iggy’s (for outstanding carbs) and Cafe 143 (for outstanding coffee and a Wednesday morning veggie stall) just up the road, plus a fish’n’chipper, Pilates studio and an ocean pool.

“The whole idea is a play on bad manners and doing whatever you want when you’re eating. We want it to be somewhere you can bring your kids and they’ll make a mess on the table and it doesn’t matter.”

Table Manners will be open at night from Wednesday through to the weekend, and for lunch from Friday to Sunday.

Table Manners is slated to open in late winter 2024.