Signage for this Italian dining space is visible from Bridge street, yet you enter from the rear lane, down a staircase, where you find yourself in a dimly lit old worldly bar. The loveliest of waiters greets you to discuss your booking. We didn’t have one, but went on a whim, hoping to squeeze into a cancellation or something. We were in luck, 2 hours later a table would be available, so we grabbed that.
We went for a stroll and returned to the venue. You are seated in the front room for a drink (and you can also get snacks there) whilst they finalise your table.
Another door leads to a similarly themed room, the dining room, with a flaming hearth covered in T-bone steaks as the centrepiece.
Continental themed decor, geometric tiles and a bistro themed dining space, and visible cooking space. The staff are friendly and we find the whole experience a tad theatrical since you are whisked through the bar through doors into this space. They ask to take your phones so you enjoy the meal and conversation, but I keep mine (in case the babysitter needs me), and pull it out briefly for a quick snap, which isn’t allowed but we did anyway.
Before your main meal, you’re given some foccacia to dip in the table’s candle. The table candle is an edible beef-fat candle that melts as it is lit. Another of those theatrical additions to provide intrigue.
Bistecca is all about steak, the bistecca alla fiorentina, or T-bone. The meat is from the NSW Riverine region. It is cooked over flaming coals on the visible grill in the centre of the restaurant. The steak is is cooked rare (though not crazy rare, so it was manageable for the medium-well orderer that I typically am). The meat comes via weight order, and a minimum 300 g order per person (I mean some of the weight is bone). We order the minimum at a cost of around $90. The piece is presented to us by the waiter, before he chucks it on to cook (given that it is takes about 45 mins).
Order your sides so that your meat comes with a few accompaniments, as well as entrees to eat while you wait. Our favourite dish of the evening wasn’t even the steak, rather their gnocchi; ricotta dumplings with zucchini and a delicious tomato and cheesy sauce. We also opt for the bone marrow and both these dishes come out first.
With the meat, we have the broccolini, which was enough for us with the 600g steak.
We watch the chefs finish cooking the steak, taking it off the grill and slicing it up on the butchers block and seasoning it with salt, olive oil and then delivered to the table. The meat is tender, rare and of high quality, to be expected from a place that is all about this dish.
We were too full so didn’t have dessert, but it’s there if you so please. There is a cocktail menu and extensive wine selection, so ask the Sommelier for tips.
A venue certainly to venue once for the food and experience.
3 Daley Street
Sydney NSW 2000