Lunch daily noon-2pm
Dinner Mon-Fri 5.30pm-11pm, Sat 5pm-11pm, Sun 5.30pm-10.30pm
Bread and butter says a lot about restaurants today. At Aria, the offer of a variety of loaves from Sonoma or Iggy's, and browned butter made for the restaurant by Pepe Saya says, "this is the real deal: we're not going to rest until you're impressed". A recent renovation quietly upped the luxe-factor, but the view over the harbour still rules the room. Where once the menu was essentially blinged-up bistro food, today its ambition and reach are more in sync. The clarity of green tomato, lemon myrtle and dill broth makes a cool herbal backdrop for slivers of whiting and green tomato. That subtlety is abandoned with lobster French toast, the finger of brioche lavished with butter and caviar - and none the worse for it. The superb aged Alsace riesling paired with it is a touch typical of the edge Aria has over a great many of its competitors in the wine and service departments. You don't need to save it for a special visit, but Aria is always an occasion.
Set menus $115-$205