Saluta il Caffe Bartolo
With a wealth of experience behind him, it’s little wonder that Jared Merlino’s latest venture Caffe Bartolo is one of Sydney’s best venues. Taking the space over from Bill’s, who moved down the street after 23 years, there’s history steeped throughout Caffe Bartolo in more ways than one.
Caffe Bartolo pays homage to Merlino’s family. Namely his great-grandfather Bartolo who emigrated from Lipari in Sicily, grandmother Mary who inspired the food and great-aunt Rita, a greyhound breeder. You can feel the warmth and pride of his family in every aspect of this Crown Street cafe and restaurant. Trust us, it makes you want to come back again, and again.
Chef Teofilo Nobrega and bartender Grazia Di Franco are behind this innovative concept. So naturally, it’s exceptional. The menu is designed with a focus toward combining traditional family recipes with creative elements and unique produce.
Sip sip, nibble nibble
Meanwhile, the cocktail and wine list is equally as impressive. It’s beautifully designed and features illustrations by the talented Simon O’Corrigan. It’s made up of creative takes on spritzes, classics, Italian wines and a heartwarming selection of signatures inspired by Bartolo’s own private diary.
Open all day from morning until late, it’s very easy to while the entire day away here. Start your morning with an espresso and the signature bloody Mary made with Mary’s own recipe – Grey Goose, Maidenii dry vermouth and nonna’s tomato and carrot juice. Pair it with the fontana omelette topped with broccoli, bacon and garlic aioli. Or, prosciutto cotto panino of double-smoked ham, scrambled eggs, onion agrodolce and smoked scamorza cheese on a potato panini. Bueno.
Later, you can’t go past the pride and joy of Caffe Bartolo – Il polpo! This grilled octopus dish is cooked sous vide for four hours, then grilled. It’s then and served with arrabiata salsa, nduja and bronze fennel. Delicious!
There’s also gnocchi and pasta made fresh daily, a mouth-watering 600g ribeye on the bone, le polpette meatballs cooked in tomato sugo and plenty more besides.
Obviously it goes without saying that saving room for the tiramisu is essential.
359 Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Mon – Sat: 7 – 11pm, Sun: 7 – 10pm