Chiosco by Ormeggio

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good date place
notable chef

There is something about sitting next to the sparkling harbour that means lunch will stretch on a little longer, and lead to that extra glass of wine. Chiosco (kiosk in Italian) by Ormeggio is open on three sides, under a marquee-like structure on the jetty at Spit Bridge, so you’re sitting right among the boats with a view of Pearl Bay.

Head chef Alessandro Pavoni serves “Italian street food” at this casual offshoot of Ormeggio at The Spit, the kind of food you can buy when you’re walking around Italy.

On the menu is arrosticini [lamb skewers] and seafood cooked on charcoal. At the moment it’s BYO only, with a few quality mocktails such as strawberry and rose caipiroska.

Generous king prawns are split down the middle and grilled over charcoal. A few pastas to share is advised. The varieties are classic, simple and northern-Italian. The puttanesca is perfectly salty, spicy and rich.

If you’re lucky enough to own a boat, you can order ahead, park at a free mooring nearby through the restaurant and it will run out a decadent picnic for your day on the water. In Sydney, you can’t get closer to an afternoon on the Italian coast than that.