Paddington's Italian eatery Barbetta wears many hats, including daytime cafe, gourmet smallgoods store and workshop space.
The venue on Elizabeth Street is the casual sister venue to nearby Cipri Italian and the owners are, not surprisingly, focusing on classic Italian food. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon coffee, the all-day cafe is designed by ACME & Co. — that is, the team who brought you a long list of successful Sydney favourites including The Grounds of Alexandria (and The Grounds of the City), Archie Rose, Fred's and Happy as Larry. The contemporary, bright interior adds nostalgic elements that are reminiscent of classic Italian cars and 1950s movies.
For breakfast, think deconstructed Sicilian buckwheat pancake with fresh ricotta, figs and crushed cannoli ($16) and Italian sausage with baked free-range eggs, Tuscan cabbage, baked ricotta and toasted sourdough ($20). Lunch will focus on heartier dishes, like house-made lasagne and spinach ricotta ravioli ($22 each), porchetta paninis ($18) and spicy meatball burgers ($21), along with salads and snacks.
The cafe's Neapolitan pastry-chef is also turning out a daily selection of Italian desserts, cakes and gelato to accompany your afternoon coffee break. On the drinks side of things, the requisite coffee and juice is paired with milkshakes and Italian soft drinks. The venue doesn't have a liquor licence just yet, so at present there's a sweet no-corkage BYO deal. Plans for an Italian snack bar are also on the horizon.
In the smallgoods deli, takeaway meals like lasagne, gnocchi and slow-cooked lamb shanks will be on offer, along with fresh pastas, sauces, cheeses and meats. The store's selection of packed Italian products include coffee, condiments and biscuits, and pre-packed picnic sets are ready for Centennial Park lazing.
If you're looking for your next date idea or just want to learn a new skill, Barbetta is also hosting twice weekly pasta making workshops on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. Classes include a hands-on cooking demo with antipasti and BYO wine, followed by dinner/lunch and the pasta you made to take home.