Ripples Milsons Point is one of those rarefied locations that is quintessentially Sydney without losing its soul to the tourist trade. Set in an intimate marquee under the nose of what seems like an absurdly magnified version of the Bridge, the restaurant's harbourside surroundings sparkle under the sun by day and shimmer by night in Luna Park's reflected glory.
Designed by head chef Jeffrey Sue, based on techniques picked up working under two-hatted Ormeggio's Alessandro Pavoni, the menu is simultaneously generous and refined; that this hearty Italian food will have an elegantly modern twist is immediately clear from the imported Bolivian earthenware on which it is served.
Whet your appetite with the Sardinian flatbread ($14), coated generously with ricotta and drizzled with a delicate truffle honey, and then graduate to the homemade meatballs with basil ($20), which boast a delicious initial crunch before melting away in your mouth.
The mains range from a light but impactful spatchcock dish served with roasted capsicum and rosemary ($32) to an entire braised lamb shoulder designed for two ($62). The wine list is thorough and speaks to all palates; our 2008 Red Claw Shiraz was an ideal accompaniment.
Savour dessert (the tiramisu in a cup is dynamite) and a coffee while gazing out from the summery marquee to the boats dawdling along the harbour, and you can't help but come away feeling pleasantly lazy and relaxed. Enjoy a ferry ride from the restaurant's entrance into the sunset for a perfect close to a thoroughly enjoyable experience.