For more than 20 years, Il Baretto served up its pappardelle with duck ragu and just the right amount of hipster charm on Bourke Street. Earlier this year, in the midst of the global pandemic, it suddenly shut up shop — but, thankfully, it's reopened on Oxford Street.
The Italian diner has relocated to Paddington, bringing many of its signature dishes with it, including, yes, that ragu ($29), as well as the spaghetti alle vongole ($29), the meatballs ($28) and the saltimbocca alla romana ($32). But, apart from a very similar black-and-white Il Baretto sign, the setup and fit-out is a little different.
Instead of its own space, Il Baretto 2.0 is located out the back of Solotel's Paddo Inn, in the former dining room space. It has a similar "unpretentious, relaxed charm", but it's no longer cash-only — and, sadly, no longer BYO.
On the upside, though, the restaurant has a bigger drinks offering with a list of ten Italian and Australian wines — including a Das Juice fiano and Sicilian nero d'avola — with every bottle $60 or less.
The hospitality giant's front bar remains open and continues to serve up spritzes and blood orange negronis, alongside bar snacks alla Il Baretto. Expect the likes of the bruschetta al pomodore, salame norcia and beef carpaccio.
Despite the move, owner Gabriella Fedeli says Il Baretto is still laidback and affordable. "We have always had a 'no fuss', 'simple' and 'traditional' approach to the way we do things, " Fedeli said in a statement. "The attitude and style of the place is not something that I want to change. I have always liked the fact that we are a broad-church for all types of customers – families, corporates, musicians – whoever. Our price and manner of service is intended to be for everyone."
Top image: Cassandra Hannagan