Sydney, NSW

Restaurants like Popolo, in Sydney's Rushcutters Bay, is the reason why Italian cuisine is one of Australian's favourites. Tucked away in an odd position, just around the corner of Neild Avenue on McLachlan Avenue, Popolo is the brainchild of former Fratelli Paradiso employees' Flavio Carnevale and Fabio Dore. The classic Italian menu is inspired by Flavio and Fabio's childhood favourites and the fit out is simple yet sophisticated.
Opening Times

50 McLachlan Avenue
Rushcutters Bay
Tel: +61 2 9361 6641
Italian, Pizzas
Price Range:
$$$$ ~ $$$$
$$$$ = Mains under $20
$$$$ = Mains $20 - $30
$$$$ = Mains $30 - $40
$$$$ = Mains over $40
Fully Licensed (no BYO)
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Experience has taught me that if a restaurant bears the title "authentic" in its name or menu, it'll be anything but. At Popolo, there's no mention of it anywhere but the evidence is where it counts – on the plate. The menu is influenced by seasonality, with a pesce dish that changes daily or weekly, depending on what's been caught that morning from the fish markets. The menu delivers regional classics without scaring off your conservative Italian dining companions (you know, those friends who won't order anything but margherita pizza). Inspired by the heritage of co-owners Flavio Carnevale and Fabio Dore, both ex Fratelli Paradiso, there's hints of Sardinia and Basilicata dotted throughout the menu.

To start, the swordfish carpaccio, a fleshier and more textural fish, marries well with a dehydrated mandarin peel crumb and toasted almond flakes. If I had to find a fault, the dish could have used a squeeze of lemon that would have taken it to the next level. The squid ink tagliatelle, cooked al dente, involves just a few ingredients, as the best Italian dishes do, with hunks of spanner, king and blue swimmer crab, a handful of sun ripened cherry tomatoes and torn shreds of basil. The fish of the day is a piece of crisp-skinned snapper, served with roasted baby zucchini flowers and cherry tomatoes. Classic flavour combinations, executed perfectly – this dish was a reminder that simple is often the best.

Co-owners Flavio and Fabio explain the motivation behind Popolo: "We want our guests to be able to close their eyes and be transported to Positano, Puglia, Basilicata and Sardegna with every mouthful." I've got to say, dinner at Popolo was undoubtedly an inexpensive Italian holiday, albeit a little short.
Anna Lisle
This restaurant has not scheduled any events.
Please contact the restaurant for further information.
Award Winning / Hatted
Bar / Wine Bar
Outdoor Dining
Suitable for Families with children
Suitable for Functions
Suitable for Groups of 10
This restaurant does not have any awards.
50 McLachlan Avenue
Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011
There are no recommendations for this restaurant.
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Italophile - 8/09/2012
I've dined here a couple of times now and I will most definitely be returning. The place buzzes with life and it feels like you are an honoured guest at an Italian house party. There is loads of love in the food, which is simple and delicious. Pastas are all hand made and just the right quantities. Gamberoni are legendary and served with aplomb by waiters who are confident and friendly. Really interesting wines which are all italian and even the cocktails and beers where also all Italian. This is a little adventure. The owners are right there as part of the team and very charming and gracious. No pretense whatsoever. Tiramisu was particularly delicious. I see that they are now open for breakfast on the weekends. Hold that table! I'll be there.
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