Think of Paradiso as a stage, its diners and staff all actors working together daily to produce a play dedicated to the joys of a peculiarly inner-city brand of Sydney-Italianness. There's nothing servile about the service; oftentimes the seats in the two small, dark, decidedly hip rooms are part of a seller's market, not least at lunch on the weekends. But if you know how to play ball, the waiters are right there with you, talking you through the blackboard menu's staples (lasagnetta and a spaghetti al ragù you can set your watch by; perfectly reliable tiramisù) and its more fanciful flights (samphire elegantly elevating garlicky pipis; shreds of tender baby zucchini and their crisp fried flowers in a penne "carbonara"). Wine is an attraction in itself. The focus is mostly Italian and natural, but allows enough breadth that your afternoon might encompass thrilling wines from Australia as well as the old country. It's Paradiso found.
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