A sprawling restaurant, bakery and urban farm on the lower north shore.
Spread across 2000 square metres with 400 seats all up, Acre Artarmon is designed to educate and inspire its visitors, while putting them back in touch with the terroir of their food. That said, it's not just a restaurant, either. It's also a bakery, cafe, terrace bar and greenhouse-style functions space, surrounding by sprawling indoor and outdoor gardens.
First up is the Atrium cafe and bakery, which is serving up all of the usual suspects — croissants, pastries, country-style pies and sausage rolls — alongside salads and baguettes for lunch. Cuppas by Sydney's Gypsy Coffee Roasters are also on offer, as is house-made gelato (in flavours like pavlova and banana dulce de leche).
Italiano restaurant, which is opening this Friday, November 6, features dishes made using sustainably sourced produce. For starters, think local burrata, salmon crudo and peach prosciutto. There's also a pizza oven slinging a three simple Neapolitan-style pies — margherita, prawn and prosciutto — and a lineup of seasonal pasta dishes, which currently includes spanner crab linguine and bucatini carbonara with zucchini flowers.
Larger plates feature whole john dory in a brown butter, lemon and caper sauce, spicy woodfired eggplant with pine nuts and ricotta, and a cotoletta to share, made using ethically raised chicken that's been stuffed with fontina and finished with burnt sage from the kitchen garden. If you want to try a bit of everything, the banquet menu will sort you out.
The cocktail list is also Italian-inspired, with barrel-aged negronis and seasonal spritzes (think native flavours like lemon verbena) sitting alongside less popular tipples. Those include the garibaldi — which uses gin from neighbouring distillery Finders, plus Campari and freshly squeezed orange juice — and the sgroppino (vodka, prosecco, lemon sorbet and fresh mint). You can enjoy these drinks in the restaurant or the adjoining greenery-filled terrace.
Designed by Sydney interior design studio Etic (Barangaroo House), the spaces are filled with curved planter banquettes surrounded by banana trees and a water fountain that doubles as seats, as well as greenery aplenty, with bougainvillea, fruit trees and vertical planters all making the cut.
Apart from Acre's gardens, the space features a chicken coop, worm farm, community compost area and kids' playground. Guided tours, chefs' demonstrations, long lunches and meet-the-maker events will all be on the docket as well.