Rockpool Dining Group’s Italian restaurant Rosetta has just opened and, unlike its meat-centric predecessor in Melbourne, the Sydney menu leans towards the sea.
Beginning with the crudo section – which the group’s Director of Culinary and Brands Neil Perry plans to expand upon in the coming months – there’s a restrained dish of Mooloolaba yellowfin tuna dressed simply with salsa verde oil, and a standout Sicilian-style raw scampi with blood orange segments, mint and pistachio. Fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil feature heavily, as well as piquant seasonings like lemon, capers and olives.
Veal is another common thread, a regular in Italian cooking, but rarely seen on Australian tables due to concerns about ethical sourcing. Perry’s team worked with Vic’s Meats to bring in veal produced as a by-product of the dairy industry.
“This way they get to live, drink milk, eat some grass, run around together in paddocks and grow,” Perry says. “It’s a good value product for the farmer, and the calf lives a really nice, quite content life for a few months.”
The white clam pizzette (a type of small pizza) was inspired by a dish Perry tried at Roberta’s in Brooklyn.
“I had it over in New York and fell in love with it,” Perry says. “The cooking was completely on point. The clam pizza was just fucking fantastic. It’s just cheese, parsley and clam, and the juices from the clam. It's phenomenal.”
There’s fresh pasta, handmade in-house along with the focaccia, pizza bases, grissini and ricotta.
Rosetta’s signature dessert is a decadent torta di Verona, similar to a tiramisu. It’s made with whipped mascarpone, layers of cake and booze, blueberries and crystallised shaved roasted almonds. Perry first tried it in the 1980s at Taylor’s restaurant in Surry Hills.
“It’s a fantastic dessert and our version is very traditional,” says Perry. “When you eat something really amazing you never have to change the recipe.”
Head chef Richard Purdue worked at Rockpool with Perry in the 1990s, and will execute Perry’s menu.
The wine list focuses on Italian and Australian classics, sharing the stage with some more diverse varietals. Cocktails include seasonal fruit Bellinis and five different types of Negroni.
Located within Harry Seidler-designed Grosvenor Place, the three-level venue is elegant and inviting with interiors designed from the plate up. Highlights of emerald, gold and blue are a nod to tones of the ocean, along with black and white prints of the Italian seaside on the walls.
Outside, there’s an open terrace overlooking George Street, and a bar menu with more pizzas, piadinas, and antipasti.
118 Harrington Street, Sydney
(02) 8099 7089
Mon to Sat 12pm–3pm, 6pm–11pm
Sun 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10pm<
Terrace Bar & Mezzanine Bar