Rose Bay favourite I Maccheroni has relocated to Woollahra, squeezed into a site that comes with its own lofty culinary standards. Standing on Jersey Road, the slim two-storey Victorian-era building that now hosts this fantastic Italian eatery glows with the reputation of having previously housed both Pinbone and Buzo.
Now, the location is once again a picture-perfect postcard of rustic Italian food, this time led by Head Chef and owner Marcello Farioli.
Farioli, who has proven infallible when it comes to perfectly prepared pasta dishes from stints at 10 William Street, Fratelli Paradiso, Otto and Pendolino, relishes in the toned down, intimate atmosphere that perfectly complements these home-style feasts.
Fresh produce is expected, used to great effect in quintessential Italian dishes. This is best experienced through a series of antipasto, like the burrata ($22) with fennel, beetroot, cucumber and pinenuts, and fried pork ribs ($20) with balsamic glaze. It’s clear the move away from Rose Bay’s big and communal space has given Farioli a new, remarkably focused direction.
The tight one-page of options leaves little room to explore, but that matters less when the quality is so high. The Emilia-Romagna style (but cheesier) cannelloni ($31) with creamy beef brisket ragout, pecorino and béchamel feels like the comfort Italian I’ve been missing my whole life; it’s my favourite pasta dish in Sydney right now.
Similar praise goes to the signature Maccheroni ($29), which is said to change regularly, but currently benefits from guanciale, olives and caciocavallo. The dish has an overall profile that’s more vibrant and fresh than the cannelloni, making it the perfect contrast for those making the wise choice of two pastas.
Wrapping up with a ricotta tiramisu ($16) was really the only way to end such an impressive meal. Slivered almonds add texture to the classic Italian dish, which moves away from the gluttonous original and opts for something brighter and more complex.
While my visit was on a quiet evening, with no more than 4 tables occupied on the peaceful top floor, Tuesday night is said to be the restaurant’s liveliest. It’s when Farioli highlights his absolute dedication to the regionality of Italian dining, focusing on an individual area of the country with a (very well priced) $39 three course menu. If the food on a regular night is anything to go by, it’s an essential experience for any discerning Italian fan in Sydney.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Address: 3 Jersey Rd, Woollahra NSW 2025
Contact: 0403 478 995
The writer dined as a guest of I Maccheroni. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions remain that of the writer’s.