10 William St
This lively Paddington stalwart is a portal into some of the best wine, pasta and snacks this city has to offer.
May 01, 2023
Filled to the brim with lively drinkers and diners, 10 William St seems more like a brand-new opening than an establishment over a decade-old.
Since 2011, the Italian eatery and wine bar has been a launching pad for some of the country's best chefs, with an honour roll that includes Dan Pepperell (who you'll now find at Bistrot 916, formerly at Restaurant Hubert) to Garagistes founder Luke Burgess, Pinbone's Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman (now at Totti's and Lankan Filling Station, respectively), Trisha Greentree from Brae in Victoria and Enrico Tomelleri, who's continued serving Sydney's best Italian cuisine at Paski Vineria Popolare.
The good-looking Italian venue, an old converted shopfront just a few strides down from Oxford Street, has aged gracefully, from the walnut leather banquettes to its green laminate bar rimmed with golden rails. Don't fit downstairs? Don't be surprised, the front room is about as big as a hallway but there's a whole other level of dining upstairs.
If you come to 10 William St, it's pretty safe to assume you're drinking. The wine list is chalked up on the blackboard and changes each month, but if you don't know your palomino from your passerina, just ask the wait staff for a recommendation — we're all friends here. Look around and you'll see most people have gone for an apricot drop, a muscat and chenin blanc blend packed with lemon sherbet and fuzzy melon, or the hay-coloured Venetian Soave imbued with green apples and gooseberries.
A short menu of small plates could easily be mistaken for wine snacks, but really they deserve a lot more credit than that. The menu changes regularly but once constant is the fresh, bready pretzel served with a whipped bottarga, a death-row-worthy meal.
You can start the night with a Vermouth aperitivo, then graduate to a glass of wine – preferably one that goes with a healthy helping of pasta. Think a hearty tagliatelle al ragu, or a spaghetti with calamari and nduja. You'll finish with a saucy grin and a stain on your shirt to remind you of good times.
10 William St might have the energy of a newcomer, but flair and finesse like this is something that only comes with age.
Images: Kitti Gould.
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