On Woolloomooloo Wharf, five minutes’ drive from the city. Find valet parking at Blue Sydney, catch bus 311 from Circular Quay or arrive in style by water taxi. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Italian sophistication meets Sydney affluence at Otto where the well dressed, the media moguls and the seekers of fabulous Italiano fare choose to dine. With the ripples of the harbour gently lapping against the squillion dollar cruise-liners that are moored at the wharf, Otto is simply dripping in good taste. The ristorante is dressed stylishly in white with a few key design features that bring a little glamour to an otherwise bright and airy space. Taking best advantage of its coveted location, tables sprawl out under an awning that adjusts with the sun’s rays. Inside, the dining room welcomes in the light and scales up to a second level that is usually reserved for private functions.
Chef Richard Ptacnik has successfully reinvented the flavours of the land of the long leather boot with finesse, and each dish is presented so beautifully that it’s almost a shame to let your fork get close. Begin with a few oysters and a crisp glass of Rose as you settle into your seat and take in the vista. Pasture-fed beef carpaccio with truffle dressing, aioli, capers, parmesan and baby rocket leaves is a delightfully delicate entree, or perhaps continue the seafood motif with seared scallops, celeriac puree, pickled yellow enoki and porcini dust. Follow with stracci pasta with ragu of lightly smoked goose, proscuitto and reggiano, or, for something a little more robust, slow-braised Byron Bay pork shank with onion cream, baby turnip, faro and pearl barley. Finish fittingly with an affagato alongside nocello liqueur or spoon into an Amedei milk chocolate mousse with rose water marshmallow and rose petal ice-cream. The extensive wine list provides ample opportunity to discover Italy’s varied regions, and there are plenty of home-grown drops too.
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