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Woolloomooloo Is Getting a Pop-Up Italian Aperitivo Wine Bar

Sip Sicilian wine with paired cicchetti on the wharf at Manta's new project.

Woolloomooloo's fine dining seafood restaurant, Manta, is joined this month by a new pop-up aperitivo wine bar. MOLO at Manta will open at the wharf on April 28 and is all about simple, sophisticated Italian fare and authentic liquors that bring the best of the Italian coast to the Australian seaside.

The man behind the curtain at MOLO is Riccardo Bernabei — who, in addition to his 35 years in the industry, gets his love of all things Italian from his nonna. A grandmother's home cooking is a strong premise for a menu and we're already loving the incredibly creamy look of that buffalo burrata topped with caviar, which will be a signature dish.

Along with the burrata, MOLO will serve a seasonal menu of share plates, along with digestives, bitters, grappas and wines from lesser known vineyard regions like Sicily, Sardinia and Basilicata. Manta's executive chef Daniel Hughes and head chef Steve Hetherington have collaborated closely on the menu, which is written in both Italian and English. While the full menu is still being finalised, patrons can expect dishes like handmade fettuccine with pine mushrooms, gremolata finished rainbow trout and whole fried whitebait served with sardine vinegar.

Keeping with the 'genuine' Italian dining experience, guests' first drink will be accompanied by a specifically matched cicchetti, the Italian version of the French amuse bouche or palate cleansing small bite. Many of MOLO's dishes also focus on four ingredients or less, an homage to the Italian mantra of showcasing the freshest produce. A majority of these ingredients will be sourced directly from Italy, with Italian artisans in Sydney also producing items specially for MOLO, including freshly baked bread that will be delivered twice daily.

MOLO at Manta will open on Friday, April 28 at 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 11pm.

Published on April 20, 2017 by Marissa Ciampi

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