Departing from its casual roots is what killed Gazebo, as far as chef Tristian Hope (Hugo’s, Mad Pizza) is concerned. Keystone Group’s receivers sold the restaurant last year and it just re-opened with a new menu, new fit-out and Hope at the helm.

“[Keystone] took the venue too seriously,” says Hope. “They wanted to change it into a chef’s hatted bistro. I can see where they were going, but it was too much. There was a crazy red carpet, foxes on balls, pianos. Gazebo doesn’t need to be all that. It needs to be casual, everything to everyone.” Hope is returning Gazebo to its roots as a neighbourhood eatery, renamed Gazebo Wine Bar and Dining. “We’re trying to recreate the Italian tradition of aperitivo hour. It’s the mindset of socialising and having a drink, casually sharing a couple of dishes.”

There’s nothing unrecognisable on the menu, and plates small and large are meant for sharing. The burrata is made fresh daily in Marrickville and served with salty prosciutto and sourdough, with balsamic strawberries adding acidity to cleanse the palate. The smoked ocean trout is texturally rich with grapefruit, celery cress and radish in a buttermilk dressing.

The lemon-marinated half roast chicken is a standout larger dish thanks to the sauce. “The chicken-wing gravy is to die for,” says Hope. “We roast the wings and make them into a white gravy.”

“The great thing about Italian food is once you source amazing ingredients, you don’t have to do much to them,” says Hope.

Gazebo is bringing back weeknight specials that Hope remembers from the venue’s younger days. Two-for-one mussels are on Mondays and Sunday is the day for a hearty roast.

Bitter, citrusy spirits like Campari and Aperol feature heavily on the cocktail list. “[It] has an aperitivo and amaro (bitter) direction, but it’s light and approachable for people who haven’t tried those flavours before.”

Little of Keystone’s $3.2 million bistro fit-out remains. The new decor is fresh and bright with a holidaying-on-the-Amalfi-Coast vibe. Turquoise, wood and white are accented with the occasional pop of red from a wall sconce. Comfortable booths are set into the classic Gazebo rounded wall and large windows looking out to the patio welcome the warm afternoon sun.

Gazebo Wine Bar and Dining
2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay 2021
0415 316 738

Hours
Mon to Thu 5pm–11pm
Fri 5pm–12am
Sat 12pm–12am
Sun 12pm–11pm

gazeboelizabethbay.com