Italian diner Matteo Downtown has a renewed menu and a new chef

For Giovanni Astolfoni, Matteo Downtown’s new chef in the CBD, nothing beats the hustle and bustle of a Northern Italian ristorante. The venue is modeled after the lively aperitivo bars of Milan and Venice, but since April, the Italian eatery has taken the time to rethink its menus to come more in line with the simple, elegant food you’ve come to expect from all over the world. day dining in Milan. and Florence.

Astolfoni takes over from founder chef Orazio D’Elia, who recently reopened his Bondi restaurant Da Orazio. The new chef will team up with pizzaiola Marco Terracciano, who perfected his pie in his hometown of Naples. Its pizzas have a crispier bottom than sister location Matteo Double Bay. The revamped menu features seven pizzas all cooked in the same imported wood-fired oven that you can see from your leather-trimmed dining room chair. The toppings are lean classic – for example margherita (fior di latte, basil and tomato) and suprema (fior di latte, provola, rosemary potatoes, sausage and mushrooms).

All pasta is handmade, from the spaghetti swirl topped with blue swimmer crab, chili, basil and tarragon oil to the bucatini carbonara. Those looking to ruin their year-end bonus may want to go for the market-leading lobster spaghetti for two. Heftier options include a cotoletta Milanese and a 1.2-kilogram grain-fed rib-eye.

What makes Matteo Downtown different from its brother in Double Bay is that it’s great for midweek parties, large work outings, and intimate dinners in the same space. You’ll feel just as welcome for a Negroni and a bowl of braised gnocchi with lamb shoulder for one as you would with a party of 10 making your way through the antipasti to the dolci, including the ever-popular tiramisu and rotolo ricotta e ciliegie – a roly cherry jam-poly and sour cherry ice cream made by confectioner Layla Giovannoni.

The cocktail list of bar managers Roberto Torresi (ex-A’Mare) and Sarah Booth (ex-Mr Wong) is, as you might expect, heavy on Italian classics (Negronis and spritzes). There is also a decent wine list, ranging from French and Italian sparkling wines to South Australian, New Zealand and Italian whites and reds.

The dining room is just as elegant as before. Mesh curtains cover the windows as a nod to the rustic interior of a European diner. There are padded sofas dividing the dining room, with wooden tables on the edges. Along the back wall is a shelf with almost 300 wine bottles and in the open kitchen you can see chef Adam Szynankiewicz at work. There’s also the outdoor patio, where you can watch city workers scurry between George Street and Pitt Street.

Matteo Downtown
20 Bond Street, Sydney
02 9241 2008

Tues to Fri 12.00-15.00 & 17.30-22.00
Sat 5.30pm – late

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