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Former Sagra Owner Nigel Ward Has Opened His Ambitious New Italian Restaurant Passeggiata

Waverley has a bright new yellow restaurant from Ward, who has ambitions to make it the "Lucio's of the 21st century".
By Ben Hansen
November 24, 2022
By Ben Hansen
November 24, 2022

Waverley residents — here's something to celebrate: an ambitious Italian restaurant spearheaded by former 10 William Street chef and ex-Sagra owner Nigel Ward has arrived on Bronte Road. Decked out in a bright summery yellow facade, Passeggiata takes its name from an Italian tradition — an unhurried, leisurely stroll you take with your family after a hearty meal.

This is the energy that Ward is bringing to this new eastern suburbs eatery located in Charing Cross, Australia's second-oldest shopping strip.

"After a big long lunch, everyone puts on their suits and their Sunday best and they all go out to the town square and walk around real slow, go have some gelato, or have a little drink somewhere," Ward told Concrete Playground. "Nobody's in too much of a hurry, the intention is to ... slow down and enjoy the little qualities of life."

Passeggiata's menu is seasonal, so you can expect it to change over time, but the initial array of eats offers something for everyone, with a heavy focus on seafood. To start, there's crostini topped with salted cod and pickled eggplant, along with swordfish crudo and fried soft-shell crab. Further down the menu, you'll find mussels primavera and chilli spanner crab tagliolini.

Moving out of the ocean and onto land, try the fried zucchini flowers and the braised lamb pappardelle. And, once you're finished with your mains, there's, of course, tiramisu, pannacotta and a trio of cheese that you can complete your meal with.

"I hope when people come here [that] they're not coming with an out time. They just want to come and enjoy themselves and take their time, get a nice bottle of wine [and] eat lots of food," Ward continues.

Upon opening, there are two spaces at Passeggiata, a 40-seat main dining room downstairs and a more intimate 30-seat upstairs space which Ward plans to use for set menu dinners. An al fresco dining area perfect for long Tuscan-style lunches could also be in the works but is yet to open.

"I'm building the restaurant I want to go to," Ward says. "This is it for me. I've bought the building, I want to be here for 30 years. I want this to be the Lucio's of the 21st century."

Passeggiata is open 6–11pm Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday, and midday–11pm Friday at 318 Bronte Road, Waverley.

Images: Nikki To

Published on November 24, 2022 by Ben Hansen
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