Serving up 11 types of negronis — and an 11-option pizza menu — the 110-seater South City Square eatery takes its cues from 70s-era Italian joints.
Usually when you're at a bar choosing which kind of cocktail to sip, you're picking between multiple different styles. That's still the case at Sasso Italiano, the new Woolloongabba bar and trattoria in the inner east suburb's South City Square precinct — but selecting one of the 11 different negronis on the list is the most tempting option.
Now open on Logan Road, this newcomer pours classic negronis ($19), fig negronis ($22), negroni sodas ($16) and negronis made with Campari and orange sorbet ($18) — and they're just some of the options. There's also the vintage birthday negroni ($49–99), which features a different gin, vermouth and Campari from between the 60s and the 00s, depending on the year you were born.
Sasso Italiano does more than drinks, of course — although its beverage lineup also spans a tiramisu martini made with mascarpone and amaretto foam ($20), a G&T that features peach bitters ($18), and the venue's own take on manhattans ($24) and margaritas ($19). There's also three types of spritzes (all $18), three non-boozy cocktails ($11–16), and a sizeable range of natural wines. And, beer-wise, it's serving a bespoke Birra Cazino from Aether Brewing that's made exclusively for the bar.
With former Ovolo and QT Food and Beverage Directors Vincent Lombino and Jared Thibault behind the eatery, and Head Chef Gabriele Di Landri (ex-Dolphin Hotel, Chiswick Restaurant and Aria) leading the open-plan kitchen, Sasso Italiano's food menu is also a big drawcard. Think: 11 types of pizza ($21–27), pastas including spaghetti cacio e pepe ($29)and linguine marinara ($39), and a one-kilogram bistecca alla fiorentina ($95), Tuscan steak ($42) and Mediterranean-style half roast chicken ($39) among the mains.
For those after a smaller bite, the starters selection includes gnocco fritto ($12) and arancini ($15), while the crudo lineup features oysters ($5 each), king salmon ($21) and and yellow fin tuna tartare ($22). Or, opt for 50-gram charcuterie servings ($11–13), house-pickled sardines ($14), confit octopus ($26) and the trusty favourite that is burrata ($19).
Desserts span tiramisu ($15) — to pair with one of those aforementioned tiramisu martinis, perhaps — plus cannoli ($8 each), bomboloni ($6 each), a range of gelato and sorbet ($12), and a cheese selection ($21).
And, if plenty of Sasso Italiano's dishes sound like classics, that's because the restaurant and bar is going for an old-school, neighbourhood-style, 70s-inspired feel. Dim lighting suits the mood, as does the warm-hued colour palette and wraparound seating.
166 Ashgrove Avenue, Ashgrove