Ciccia Bella Italian Osteria
A fun Italian restaurant in Bondi by Acme's Mitch Orr and Icebergs' Maurice Terzini.
UPDATE: MAY 19, 2020 — Ciccia Bella has reopened for private bookings of up to ten, for a limited time. To book, call (02) 8090 6969 or email [email protected].
Two Sydney hospitality bigwigs have come together to reimagine a Bondi stalwart. Acme's Mitch Orr and Icebergs Group's Maurice Terzini (The Dolphin Hotel, Bondi Beach Public Bar) have joined forces to makeover the group's Hall Street digs. What was once Terzini's loved Bondi pizza spot Da Orazio is now Ciccia Bella: a coastal Italian osteria with Orr's signature creative pasta.
The menu is entirely designed to share, with an extensive antipasto offering backed by pizza, those pastas and mains. Any order off of the antipasto should include a serve of the restaurant's garlic bread ($5) made with pizza dough. It's perfect for dipping into the likes of bone marrow with gremolata ($14), whipped buffalo ricotta ($10), smoked eggplant ($8) and marinated sardines ($14).
While pastas change regularly, the current springtime menu features blue swimmer crab fusilli ($26), braised rabbit and pistachio maltagliati ($26) and osso buco ragu bucatini ($26) — with all pasta made in house. Pizza will, of course, continue to have its place at the venue, though through the smaller frisbee-sized pizzette. Varieties include artichoke, shiitake and mozzarella ($14); 'nduja and olive ($14); and the double-carb potato and rosemary ($12). And it's more than just bread and pizza coming out of the woodfired oven, too, with mains including whole-roasted flathead with seaweed butter ($25) and Riverina angus flank ($32).
For drinks, Icebergs Group Wine Director James Hird has created a mostly Italian wine list that "focuses on drinkability", as well as organic, biodynamic and sustainable drops. The rest of the bar's drinks program is looked after by highly lauded bartender Matt Whiley (Scout Sydney, which is located inside Terzini's Dolphin Hotel). And music is in the spotlight here, too, with Carly Roberts (Founder of Picnic Touring & Events) pulling together playlists of disco, dub, post punk and Balearic gems.
The space has also received a revamp by architects Herbert & Mason. Expect a moodier, darker and more intimate setting, with a mix of banquette, bar small table seating — as well as a special chef's table at the pass.
Images: Jason Loucas