After 31 years at the helm of one of Australia’s most influential Italian restaurants, Armando Percuoco has passed the baton to head chef David Wright. We’ll miss Percuoco’s operatic singing and fiery passion but new owner Wright sings a familiar tune, respectful of Neapolitan cuisine and tradition while keen to explore more modern interpretations.
This is a serious lesson in double white tablecloth silver service and masterful cookery underpinned by a mantra of selective sourcing and simplicity on the plate. Start with tiny school prawns, heads removed, dusted in flour and lightly fried until crisp. Campari crystals, candied orange and vermouth combine with gin-cured kingfish crudo to deliver an edible Negroni, while the classic truffled egg fettuccine, tossed and served at the table, is still one of the all-time best dishes Down Under – don’t think about missing it. Pearlescent fillets of red mullet come slathered in a gorgeous cherry tomato, garlic and basil sauce, while a crumbed and rolled sheet of veal stuffed with spinach and parmesan is spot-on.
This isn’t a casual, drop-in-for-dinner venue; it’s a very special place that looks set to continue with top-shelf Italian hospitality.
Atmosphere: Sophisticated, hushed tones, intimate
Best for: Special occasion dinner with friends and family
Stand-out dish: Truffles egg fettuccine (still)
Open: Thurs, Fri, Sat for lunch; Tues-Sat for dinner
Address: 108 Boundary Road, Paddington
Phone number: 02 9360 6729