A cobbled laneway. An Italian osteria. Chefs who know Italian food. It’s all looking positive for Bacco, recently opened in Ash Street. Since Fratelli Fresh fell into the hands of a large dining conglomerate and Andy Bunn left the scene, it isn’t quite the same, so was good to see a new casual Italian diner around this end of town. It’s a handy spot to catch up with a friend for a chat, who is about to make me jealous with her itinerary of three months of travel.
The interior is unfussy, true to an osteria style. And the menu is compact but broadly appealing, other than some specific offal dish which doesn’t tempt us. Be prepared to get to know your neighbours, the tables along the side wall are so close to each other that they may as well have been joined. Not the place if you’re looking for privacy.
The dishes we try are tasty and the flavours good. What lets them down that night is the service. Drinks have to be chased, attention is hard to come by, and when my credit card payment doesn’t get processed properly there’s more waiting because the waitress disappears so fast that I can’t catch anyone’s eye to fix it. A runner would have been easy. So there’s a bit of work to be done but it’s early days. Anyway here is what we try
A couple of simple potato and prosciutto croquettes. I’m partial the odd croquette, especially when they have a good crunchy coating.
The artichokes with straciatella is Italian simplicity done well. The straciatella is gorgeous
Grilled quail with witlof and pine nuts. Simple, nicely cooked quail but the dressing is a little tart for my liking.
The pasta dishes are very nicely executed. Though at $24 and $26 they don’t have the portion generosity of a Flour Eggs Water. CBD rents and all that.
Gnocchi with pistachio – petite little pillows combine with nutty crunch
Strozzapretti with a pork and guanciale ragu – very nice indeed.
Bacco Osteria e Espresso, 1 Angel Place, Sydney Ph 02 9235 3383