This Bondi eatery isn’t doing meals right now, but it’s still open and selling handmade pastas and sauces. Grab some gnocchi and spaghetti, add on some jars of duck ragu or bolognaise sauce, then get some arancini and focaccia on the side for good measure. Menu here.
Elva brings an inner-city feel to Bondi Road. It’s by Bondi local Nick Gilbert (also the owner of pizzeria Vacanza in Bronte and Surry Hills) and Michael Stevens of Surry Hills’ sometimes overlooked but excellent Italian restaurant Baccomatto Osteria.
Named after Elva Tesoriero, whose family ran a fruit shop at the site in the 1950s, it’s got brown-leather banquet seating, an Italian marble bar, waxed walls and a chef’s table at the back large enough to seat up to 12.
The menu borrows from Baccomatto and Vacanza, although there’s no pizza. The pasta is handmade in-house and used to make dishes such as fettuccine gricia, which here has prawns, artichokes and pecorino. There’s also meatballs with tomato and basil, and rigatoni con ragu made with veal and porcini mushrooms.
And try the Aperol-cured salmon with blood-orange sorbet and green olives, and glazed lamb ribs with lemon, marjoram and broad beans.
For those partial to cheeses and meats you can get bresaola, ’nduja (chilli-infused spreadable salami) and finocchiona (garlic and fennel infused salami), which are cut to order on the shiny red slicer that sits at the bar. Add in a wedge of chamomile pecorino, testun di barolo (a type of cheese that takes a minimum of 12 months to ripen) or Reggiano (a hard cheese) that has been aged for 24 months and a glass of wine from the Italian-heavy list and settle in for the evening.