What a difference a year makes. After a variety of guest-chef talent passed through it, the kitchen has settled back into a groove. The take on Italian food presented by chef Enrico Tomelleri isn't so overtly freestyle as some of his predecessors, but it's by no means cucina alla cookie-cutter. Snackers seated at the bar work their way through airy puffs of dough draped luxuriantly with lardo and honey, or chomp sandwiches stuffed with crumbed slices of sticky cotechino, cut with sauerkraut and salsa verde. "Hard and soft" ricotta cheeses dress fried Brussels sprouts, a caper vinaigrette keeping things fresh, while anchovy sauce amps up beautifully pale lamb cutlets with crisp potato gaufrettes. As ever, the food is only part of the appeal; the lively crush of bodies yelling for picks from one of the edgiest wine lists in town (natural! Italian! mostly!) gives the place permanent buzz, aided and abetted by fast-paced and sassy service.
Shared plates $10-$27
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