The dining room at Bar Grazie
Photograph: Supplied
  • Restaurants | Italian
  • Elizabeth Bay

Bar Grazie (CLOSED)

Potts Point has welcomed a cosy Italian restaurant with old-world charm and an ex-Rockpool chef heading up the kitchen

Avril Treasure

Time Out says

There are some restaurants you walk into and instantly feel good. Glittering Potts Point newcomer Bar Grazie, with its white tablecloths, wood-panelled walls, dimmed lighting and soulful sounds, is one of those places.

Hidden behind curtains in the original Sebel Townhouse Hotel on Elizabeth Bay Road, Bar Grazie opened in the second half of 2022. Impressively, it’s legendary Sydney restauranter Barry McDonald’s 19th restaurant. Hospitality has been in McDonad’s blood since he was 21, and since then he’s gone on to open and run some of the Emerald City’s most fruitful ventures, including the original Fratelli Fresh, Cafe Nice with Josh Niland as head chef, and Cafe Sopra.

McDonald says: “I've spent years working in Europe, and have eaten my way through North America and Asia. But Italy is where my heart resides. My favourite restaurants are Italian. From the glitzy New York Italian American, to the 'nonna' kitchens in Puglia.”

“Bar Grazie is a culmination of all of these experiences. A home where I can be comfortable and my guests feel welcome. A bar to sit, eat, drink and converse with just a touch of class.”

Heading up the kitchen at Bar Grazie is head chef Jarrard Martin (formerly Rockpool, Uccello and Mary's Underground) who recently worked with McDonald at Cafe Giorgio. Expect a menu that showcases great Italian classics.

Highlights include vitello tonnato with thin sliced veal, tuna sauce and pops of capers; a rich and hearty rigatoni alla bolognese with Wagyu and tomato sauce; and a passera di mare intero consisting of a whole flounder with burnt butter sauce, roasted almonds and parsley.

McDonald’s background is in fresh, seasonal produce, so prosciutto with sweet rockmelon and a caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes are no-brainers. McDonald’s favourite ever dessert, a torta di Verona with mascarpone cream, blueberries and almonds, makes an appearance on the dessert menu. Go for that.

Designed by George Gorrow and seating 72 guests, Bar Grazie’s dining room is elegant, cosy and beautiful – you'll want to linger. When the sun is shining, the team pulls back glass walls opening up to the alfresco courtyard. A wooden bar is at the centre of the room, serving a drinks list curated by Ana Page, also known as Miss Martini. There are a bunch of Spritzes available, as well as creative takes on Italian drinks, like the La Tosca cocktail with Limoncello, Tequila Blanco, fino sherry, lemon and sichuan pepper. You’ll find drops from mostly Italy and France on the succinct wine menu.

Bar Grazie feels like it could have been around for years. So will his 19th restaurant be McDonald’s finest? We say stroll on in and find out for yourself.

Keen for more? Here are some other popular reads:

Love Italian? Here are the best spots in Sydney to get your pasta and pizza fix

Check out the finest restaurants in Sydney you can book right now

Thirsty? Here are Sydney's best places for a tipple


21 Elizabeth Bay Rd
Elizabeth Bay
You may also like
You may also like