Time Out Sydney

Italian food in Australia has come a long way since powdered parmo in a can. Today, regional Italian cuisine is what it’s all about: Giovanni Pilu’s Sardinian restaurant, Pilu at Freshwater; Naples-style pizza at Lucio Pizzeria and Pizza Mario; specialist Italian butchers such as Pino’s Dolce Vita and Quattro Stelle. Importers such as Lario International bring in pasta from a fourth-generation Tuscan pasta producer, as well as chocolate so dark and acerbic you’d think you were eating medicine. Bitters. Grappa. Wine. Yes, we live in a country where multiculturalism is celebrated – especially if you can eat or drink it.

So here’s Ormeggio, the jewel of the Spit. Brescian-born-and-raised Alessandro Pavoni, previously at the Hyatt’s HarbourKitchenBar, is now doing a regional menu from his part of Italy. His business partner Fraser Guthrie is running the floor with a dedicated team and a very drinkable, very Italian wine list.

You can tell straight away Pavoni’s in his element – his menu is focused, strong and gutsy. There’s baked buffalo ricotta, for instance, moulded into a low-lying cylinder topped with cannellini beans and mint. There’s tuna, slow cooked and served with perfect fingers of green bean and potato. There’s also a mackerel fillet with burrata and balsamic vinegar that looks pretty exciting.

The location doesn’t hurt either. You’ll find Ormeggio behind a boat shop, right on the water where vessels of all shapes and sizes bob and sway and schools of bream dart about. There’s a large outdoor area, which is ideal if you’re in a bigger group. Speaking of which, the spiedo alla Bresciana – a traditional Brescian spit roast of chicken, pork, rabbit and quail slow-cooked for five hours with sage and butter – is what to order if you’ve got a group of ten. It’s $52 a person and you’ll need to give the restaurant 24 hours notice. We’ll be going back with our mates for that one.

Ever eaten pici? They’re a hand-rolled pasta that look a bit like a chubby, misshapen version of spaghetti. Here, Pavoni’s version are wholemeal and served with a ragu of porcini mushroom, rabbit and fresh-shelled peas. Or try the agnolotti stuffed with ricotta and the incredible bagoss cheese which is aged for three years (it’s a bit like parmiggiano, only richer and more pungent). These little parcels of deliciousness are tossed through with tomato, basil and olives.

Desserts alone make it worth the trip. The yoghurt pannacotta is the big stand out – the light, tangy yoghurt base sports a hat of cherry jelly, decorated with thin shards of honeycomb, tiny sprigs of mint leaves and a halved fresh cherry. Or there's the sesame gelato sandwiched by thin chocolate wafers (also disc shaped) with a salad of strawberry jelly, fresh strawberry bits and basil leaves.

Ormeggio delivers, from service to wine to food, in a convivial setting. Plus, it’s not outrageously exxy. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect long lunch to you, we’ll eat our hats.

Who won the bar awards?

First published on . Updated on .

By Myffy Rigby   |  

Ormeggio at The Spit details

Address
D’Albora Marina, The Spit, Mosman 2088

Telephone 02 9969 4088

Price per person including drinks $51 to $100

Open Lunch Tues-Sun 12 noon-3pm; Dinner Tues-Sat 6-11pm

Ormeggio at The Spit website

Book now
Ormeggio at The SpitBookings by Dimmi

Ormeggio at The Spit map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Harry's Fish Cafe

279m - Harry's Fish Cafe offers you a choice between ten types of fresh fish...

Balgowlah RSL

1177m - For a beachside beer in the heart of Sea Eagles territory head to Seaforth...

Ribs and Rumps

1652m - This meat-focussed restaurant offers stunning views over the beach. 

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Chinamans Beach

809m - This small sheltered beach looks across Middle Harbour to Clontarf and...

Balmoral Beach

1909m - Probably one of the best beaches the North Shore has to offer, Balmoral...

Xtend Barre Mosman

2101m - This Mosman fitness studio specialises in the barre ballet-pilates fusion...

More venues nearby
The Dining Club

The Dining Club

Make the most of the silly season with food and drink pairings

Nixi Killick

Nixi Killick

Bend the rules for your chance to win a range of great prizes

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus