The latest venue from restaurateur Maurice Terzini, chef Robert Marchetti (the team who brought us Icebergs, North Bondi Italian and Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons in Melbourne) and designers Carl Pickering and Claudio Lazzarini (of Lazzarini Pickering) has gone live. After much expectation, Neild Avenue opened a couple of months ago now and is earning quite the wrap – but that’s even before we get to the food.
As always, there’s a sense of theatre to any venture this team tackles, and this time, design is front and centre. The first and most talked about aspect of the old factory space – which, throughout its history, has produced everything from tyres to fridge parts – are the huge, movable, framed canvasses painted by Sydney artist Anthony Lister. Suspended via a system of ropes and pulleys, it looks almost like a second house could be dropped into the room.
At full capacity the converted warehouse can seat 200 people, so it’s no small venture. Described as wholefoods of the Mediterranean, the menu is classic Terzini and Marchetti, featuring kebabs, Marchetti’s cured meats and rum baba desserts, while the design is all Lazzarini Pickering. But design doesn’t end with the space. Female staff wear uniforms designed by Kirrily Johnston, while male staff wear Terzini's own label, Ten Pieces.
Rumour has it that the intriguing, theatrical fit-out cost around $2.5 million. But the pedigree of the team suggests they know what they’re doing and that the start-up spend will be worth it. By the looks of the floods of diners filing into the place every night, it already is.
Nield Avenue certainly all the buzz right now, but don’t let the price-tag of the fit-out confuse you; this is a diner with a bent for the relaxed and casual. Terzini and Marchetti shy away from bookings to keep atmosphere as inclusive as possible and prices are pitched to keep diners coming back regularly, rather than only for special occasions.
Looks like the team has done it again.