UPDATE: FEBRUARY 14, 2018 — Capitalising on our love for spritzes and free stuff, Bacco has just launched an aperitivo hour that combines the two. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 4 and 9pm, drinks — including negronis, Aperol spritzes, vermouth and one of the restaurant's 100 wines — will come with complimentary snacks. These will be chosen at the chef's discretion and could be anything from bread and butter to sardines, meatballs, jaffles, arancini and even roasted cabanossi. All you need to know if that it's free.
Sydney's Angel Place is pretty well populated with high-end restaurants these days, with Long Chim and Mercado joining China Lane and the Merivale-encircled cornucopia last year. The CBD laneway hub has most recently been joined by a new Italian restaurant that boasts freshly-baked panini and pastries, handmade pastas, locally-sourced produce and two serious chefs. Bacco Osteria e Espresso is the first city collaboration between executive chef Andrew Cibej and head chef Scott Williams, both of whom hail from Surry Hills stalwarts Vini, 121BC, Berta and Chippendale's Ester. Various owners of China Doll, China Lane and Mercado are also all involved.
Designed by Anthony Gill Architects, the team responsible for the chefs' aforementioned venues, Bacco operates as a trattoria-style restaurant and espresso bar. An earthy, olive colour palette dominates the interiors, and unifying wooden finishes gives off a warm, intimate feel. The team have also imported all of their cooking equipment from Italy, so expect a highly particular menu.
Bacco's espresso bar opened first, launching with a front window that turns out Little Marionette coffee and Bacco's house-baked breads, pastries and paninis, the latter of which include porchetta and pickles and vitello tonnato varieties. The team are also offering up pizza-by-the-slice, making them our personal inner-city heroes.
The trattoria-style restaurant section followed, focusing on rustic, yet polished Italian fare — think goat ragù strozzapreti and spaghetti with sea urchin, along with handmade gnocchi in a pistachio and pecorino sauce, made by Cibej's nonna no less. The decadent antipasti will offer dry-aged lamb tartare with whipped anchovy and smoked swordfish with kohlrabi and apple, and dessert includes house-baked ricotta cheesecake.
The extensive wine list has been curated by Clint Hillery (sommelier for China Doll Group) and features over 70 local and imported wines across Italian and New South Wales varietals. Overall, the team is going for an unpretentious, casual vibe.
Note that the espresso bar is open 7am till 5pm Monday to Friday, and the restaurant is open noon till 10.30pm Monday to Friday as well as 5.30–10.30pm on Saturday.