While the East has continued to be the beneficiary of Matteo's fine-casual pan-Italian fare and elegant wine list, the CBD has been missing out since the eatery's city outpost closed its doors in mid-2020. Now, executive chef Orazio D'Elia is once again welcoming the after-work Spritzers and suits looking for a swish Italian lunch back to Matteo Downtown.
While hospitality venues in Sydney have been allowed to operate since last June, D'Elia has been biding his time for a reason. The Downtown bar has been undergoing a seriously chic glow-up, and the expanded space now includes more outdoor seating, creating a classically Italian-style piazza on Bond Street which can now seat upto 120 diners. The larger main dining space is set to open in April, but you can still nibble on snacks, larger plates and Matteo's Napoli-style pizza in the bar. Try the Fremantle octopus and porchetta skewers with romesco sauce, or a classic beef tartare sandwich for a quick bite. If you're sitting down for dinner, the pasta fresca with braised veal is a hit, or you could slice straight into a pizza: the CBD pie is topped with saffron pork sausage ragu, fior di latte and artichokes, while the Bond Street pizza puts fior di latte together with cherry tomatoes and rocket.
If you're just there for a drink, the Sorbellini takes a new spin on the Aperol Spritz with the addition of fruity, passionfruit sorbet. The Negroni – arguably the cocktail of 2020 – has no less than five iterations on Matteo's menu. It wouldn't hurt to sample them all, right? Just for comparison's sake.
Book online for Matteo Downtown now. It's open Mon-Tue noon-3pm; and Wed-Fri noon-11pm.