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Waverley is home to a bright yellow Italian restaurant with ambitions to be the "Lucio's of the 21st century".
By Ben Hansen and Nishika Sharma
February 17, 2023
By Ben Hansen and Nishika Sharma
February 17, 2023

Looking for a cause for celebration? Passeggiata is the place for you. Spearheaded by former 10 William Street chef and ex-Sagra owner Nigel Ward, this ambitious Italian restaurant is decked out in a bright summery yellow facade. Passeggiata takes its name from an Italian tradition — an unhurried, leisurely stroll you take with your family after a hearty meal.

This is the energy that Ward brings to this eastern suburbs eatery located on Bronte Road in Charing Cross, Australia's second-oldest shopping strip.

"After a big long lunch, everyone puts on their suits and their Sunday best and they all go out to the town square and walk around real slow, go have some gelato, or have a little drink somewhere," Ward told Concrete Playground. "Nobody's in too much of a hurry, the intention is to ... slow down and enjoy the little qualities of life."

Passeggiata's menu is seasonal, so you can expect it to change over time, but the initial array of eats offers something for everyone, with a heavy focus on seafood. To start, there's crostini topped with salted cod and marinated peppers ($9), along with swordfish crudo with radish and blood orange ($28) and fried soft-shell crab with chilli aioli ($32). Further down the menu, you'll find mussels primavera with fried polenta ($29) and Calabrian chilli spanner crab tagliolini ($36).

Moving out of the ocean and venturing onto land, try the fried zucchini flowers with pecorino and mint ($34) or the braised lamb pappardelle with horse radish ($34). If you're feeling like splashing some extra cash, you can opt for the chicken sotto mattono with new season garlic and marsala ($42) or the pesce del giorno ($48). Once you're finished with your mains, there's a dessert selection of tiramisu ($16), fig leaf pannacotta with rhubarb ($15) and a trio of cheese (ranging from $14-$22) that you can complete your meal with.

"I hope when people come here [that] they're not coming with an out time. They just want to come and enjoy themselves and take their time, get a nice bottle of wine [and] eat lots of food," Ward continues.

There are two spaces to enjoy your meal at Passeggiata, a 40-seat main dining room downstairs and a more intimate 30-seat upstairs space which Ward plans to use for set menu dinners. 

"I'm building the restaurant I want to go to," Ward says. "This is it for me. I've bought the building, I want to be here for 30 years. I want this to be the Lucio's of the 21st century."

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