Through floor-to-ceiling windows, Ormeggio’s dining room offers vistas out to Middle Harbour and the boats bobbing in the D’Albora Marina like very expensive ducklings. And if you didn’t know you were in Sydney, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere else, like Puglia in southern Italy, for instance.

That’s precisely what the team – led by co-owner and former head chef Alessandro Pavoni – was shooting for when the restaurant underwent a major transformation in 2020. Now there’s a beautiful marble cocktail and gelato bar, complemented by stucco walls, custom rattan armchairs and vintage Turkish rugs scattered throughout the dining room.

And though the menu now deals exclusively in seafood, the food and service is as exacting as ever. You might start with some oysters and a slab of the house focaccia, made in-house using a 22-hour process and served with a dollop of baccala mantecato (a traditional Venetian condiment made from whipped salt cod and olive oil).

From there, it might be pastas such as squid ink taglioni with spanner crab, and larger dishes to share. Schnitzel fans shouldn't miss the signature yellowfin tuna cotoletta: a fillet rolled in a seaweed powder, dipped in egg and coated in chunky crumbs made from grissini (breadsticks) and cooked until golden. Finish up at the gelato bar, where every flavour is inspired by a different classic Italian dessert.

The cocktail list hinges on Italian classics (Negroni, Americano, et al) made with top-shelf Italian spirits and fresh produce. But if you’re coming here, Ormeggio’s wine list is something to behold. It comprises mainly Italian drops from each of the country’s grape-growing regions, plus a smattering of French and Australian varietals.

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Updated: March 18th, 2024

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