Tinello isn’t your everyday Italian joint. It’s priced like one, it sort of looks like one (at least in its simplicity), but there’s a lot here you won’t find at many other Italian restaurants.
For example: have you ever had veal tartare puttanesca? Or olives with dried chilli and palm toffee? Or grilled ox tongue, witlof, lentils and cornichons? We’d expect nothing less from chef Eugenio Riva (ex-Ristorante Riva, Uccello). Even when he’s playing it safer with steak, lamb rack, pastas and salads, his touch is evident.
This is as much a wine bar as it is a restaurant, and there are a few surprises on the drinks menu, too. The wines, all by the glass, cover older wineries that use historic methods and newer, natural-wine producers. And there are some lesser-known beers from around the country and Sierra Nevada pale ale from the US.
Subtle touches in the space pay homage to the building’s history. Long before owners Riccardo Roberti and Natasha Battikha moved in, this building on Glebe Point Road housed the famous Valhalla art-house cinema.
They made minimal changes. There’s a marble bar with stools, and a long glass facade that keeps the simply furnished restaurant well lit.