Cafe Paci chef brings Darlinghurst a new pop up restaurant with Classico Moderno (Sydney)

The Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy is about to see a major champion with new Sydney pop-up restaurant Classico Moderno, a concept from young local chef Bryan Gerlini who is determined to showcase the best of his home and its classic cuisine. Aside from being the founding Head Chef of Leichhardt’s excellent Capriccio Osteria, Gerlini is perhaps best known for his time helping renowned chef Pasi Petanen achieve legendary status with award-winning pop up Café Paci, an inspiring short-run restaurant that remained one of the city’s most popular dining spots until it popped-down late last year.

For Classico Moderno, Gerlini has sub-leased the site of La Pesa at 172-174 Livepool Street, Darlinghurst and will be operating this new Italian dining experience as another short-run restaurant, though the end date is yet to be determined.

“It’s a gamble”, admitted the 29 year old chef. “A pop-up is both exciting and scary. It’s a chance to go out on my own for the first time, to be my own boss. I want to share the food of my region, Emilia-Romagna. It stretches from the Apennine Mountains, through the Po River Valley, to the coast”.

“Our staples are pasta, meat – particularly pork – and fresh seafood, teamed with the fruits and vegetables of the land”, offered Gerlini, going on to describe the menu as “nonna food” with a modern spin, thinking outside the box with traditional Italian, offering the likes of cotechino and lentil sliders and cannoli di mortadella, a savoury balsamic vinegar cannoli shell rolled in pistachio crumbs and filled with mortadella mousse. Desserts will be handled by Francesco Guerra (ex-Gelato Messina).

Classico Moderno will feature three very distinct six-course degustation menus – Emilia (the land), Romagna (the coast), and Pianura (vegetarian). Each will be set at $65pp. There will also be a three-course option at $45 with additional courses at $15 each, and wine pairing will be a big focus for each of the menus.

Classico Moderno

Address: 172-174 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst
Contact: (02) 9331 4358 or [email protected]
Hours: Lunch, Thurs-Sat 12pm-3pm; Dinner, Tues-Sat 5:30pm-late.

Classico Moderno opens from Thursday 13th October.

Image supplied.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.