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FOOD & DRINK

Surry Hills' Bartolo Has Reopened with Nuclear Pina Coladas and a Menu Inspired by Coastal Italy

You can now sit down for a feast of clam spaghetti and stone fruit panettone or grab a frozen cocktail to-go.
By Samantha Teague
December 01, 2020
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Surry Hills' Bartolo Has Reopened with Nuclear Pina Coladas and a Menu Inspired by Coastal Italy

You can now sit down for a feast of clam spaghetti and stone fruit panettone or grab a frozen cocktail to-go.
By Samantha Teague
December 01, 2020
  shares

It's been a hot minute since Surry Hills' Bartolo welcomed customers through its glass doors. Closing with the rest of Sydney's hospitality venues back in late March, the Crown Street restaurant has remained shuttered through winter and spring. But, it hasn't been empty. The team has been busy giving the venue a makeover, complete with a seafood-heavy menu, frozen cocktails and a new look. And it has swung open its doors just in time for summer.

Now home to Bartolo Wine Room, the space has had a refresh. The coffee machine has been pulled out and replaced by a slushie machine, churning alcoholic drinks you can order takeaway, and space for a DJ to spin Italo disco tunes on weekends. Family photos on the walls have been swapped for pics of the Italian coast by Sydney-based photographer Jude Cohen and new high tables primed for sundowner drinks have arrived streetside.

Instead of spanning separate menus for breakfast, lunch and menu, food is now confined to one menu created by new Head Chef Sam Bennett (One Ford Street). Like the art, it's reminiscent of an Italian summer, with entrees of grilled whole sardines with peperonata, baccalà mantecato (a Venetian salt cod dish) and ox heart tomatoes with burrata. Larger dishes include mafaldine with fermented chilli, clam and sausage spaghetti, and fish with garlic butter and cabbage. Dessert, as you'd expect around Christmas in the European country, stars a panettone with stone fruit and zabaglione

Spaghetti with clams and sausage by Jared Merlino

The wine list has had a rejig, too, and now features more than 180 bottles from across Australia, Italy, France and Georgia. It's particularly heavy on the orange and natural numbers, including the likes of a standout rkatsiteli from Do Re Mi in Georgia and the skinsy Delirium from Continental Platter in SA's Riverland.

The aforementioned slushie machine is pumping out a 'nuclear' piña colada, which is made with Wray & Nephew's overproof rum, and the drinks list is rounded out by cocktails — including the summery Spritzy Boy and a riberry-spiked negroni — and tinnies from the likes of Grifter, Batch and Modus Operandi.

While Bartolo has now reopened, alongside sibling Sydney venues Big Poppa's and Lobo, another one of Owner Jared Merlino's venues remains closed: Kittyhawk. Merlino says the team is aiming to open early in the new year, after the 350-person venue has had it's own redo, with the upper level set to be transformed into a live entertainment venue.

Find Bartolo Wine Room at 359 Crown Street, Surry Hills from 5pm–12am Thursday, 12pm–12am Friday–Saturday and 12–11pm Sunday.

Images: Jared Merlino

Published on December 01, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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