This 60s-inspired spot from Porteño crew serves up simple Italian food at its best.
With big food precincts the norm in Sydney these days (see: Tramsheds and Maker's Dozen), the Porteño crew has decided to start its own. Owners and hospo legends Elvis Abrahanowicz, Ben Milgate and Joseph Valore (Bodega X Wyno, Bodega 1904) have opened two neighbouring venues along Holt Street.
Bastardo trattoria and Humble Bakery are the newcomers to the 'Porteño precinct'. With five of the team's sister venues now side-by-side, Surry Hills has become a true food-filled haven.
At Bastardo, expect a menu of homey dishes that change daily and focus on seasonal produce. For the venue, the team bought an old-school pasta extruder to make as many different shapes and sizes of pasta as possible. The menu is vego-heavy, similar to the way the gents eat at home. Think dishes like braised silverbeet with chilli, fava beans and garlic ($16); corn agnolotti with brown butter, capers and sage ($26); and a fennel salad with onion, mint, orange and olives ($12). For pescatarians and carnivores, there's the paccheri with cuttlefish, panchetta, tomato and white wine ($22); spaghetti with clams, nduja and white wine ($28); and porchetta with kale and white beans ($38).
"The concept [behind Bastardo] is in the name — it's a bastardisation of Italian food," says Abrahanowicz. "[Ben, Joe and I] are all mongrel Italians in one way or another, and the restaurant will be a reflection of that. It's pretty much how we eat on the weekends. It's not going to be traditional Italian cooking or from a specific region, it'll be our interpretation of Italian food."
While the menu is simple comfort food at its best, the fit-out is quite loud. Think a 60s Italian vibe with green terrazzo tables and colourful paintings by artist Mikey Freedom — plus a standing aperitif bar with a foosball table that's been resurrected from the Gardel's Bar days.
Images: Caroline McCredie