Nostalgia is imminent as we recount the bliss blur of the last fortnight. It’s been spent luxuriating in sprawling spreads, taking five and dressing way up.
As we brace for impact to get desk-bound again and cancel those automated OOO’s, it’s crucial to embrace the art of the AWD (read: after work drink), weekend escapades and the occasional business day dose of decadence. After all, this summer still has mileage.
In the spirit of seasonal surrender, we’ve recruited the all-knowing Scott Williams of Ragazzi – an Angel Place wine and pasta wonderland – to curate a list of must-visit Sydney restaurants in a rally against the holidays’ end.
Here, Scott suggests adding a few recreational resolutions to your new year’s agenda. Slip on your best lofty linen shirts and breezy button-ups (with extra stretch) for this insider’s itinerary for a well-fed summer in the city.
I love seeing people fill the outdoor tables on a warm arvo between traditional lunch and dinner times.
What’s your go-to spot (new or old) in Sydney this summer for:
I love going to Rising Sun Workshop in Newtown for a bowl of breakfast ramen with buttered toast bone broth, bacon, egg and tomato – it’s an awesome building too, housing both a cafe/restaurant and a motorcycle workshop.
I’m also a massive fan of yum cha for a weekend breakfast – we frequent a local fave around the corner from our place in Marrickville, Hung Cheung, which is small and low key, or we’ll head to Fisherman’s Wharf above the Sydney Fish Market for scallop shiu mai, water views and a guilt-free AM Tsingtao.
LP’s Quality Meats in Chippendale reopening mid last year as a weekend lunch spot alongside the charcuterie operation was a treat. Luke is pumping out beautiful Spanishy-style share plates such as perfectly pickled sardines or char-grilled tongue in amongst their brilliant sausage factory and it’s a killer option for a quick and easy lunch or the perfect place to settle in on a Saturday or Sunday.
Another lunch spot I love is Lankan Filling Station in Darlinghurst for super tasty Sri Lankan curries, hoppers and snacks. For me it’s always the fiery black goat curry and chef O’Tama’s pan rolls on order.
We tend to put in a lot of time at our local Inner West breweries over Summer – The Grifter or Batch – but my top pick is Wildflower in Marrickville where founder Topher produces some seriously impressive sour beers made using wild local yeasts.
If it’s not beer I’m after (truth be told, this is rare) then I really can’t go past the laneway vibes at Dear Sainte Eloise on Llankelly Place in the Cross in Summer for a bottle of something delicious and a snack or two. The wine list is weighty, far reaching, and always interesting.
Bar Vincent is an absolute ripper small neighbourhood restaurant in Darlinghurst that I eat at quite often! It’s classic Italian styles – pasta, perfect vegetable dishes, amazing service and lots of little corners and nooks. It’s great to eat at as a couple but even more fun in a group, which tends to happen a lot over the Summer.
I love ice cream/gelati all year round but obviously big time during warm weather. A couple of scoops is my ideal dessert, to be honest. Mapo in Newtown is an absolute cracker of a spot for gelati! We keep a tub in the freezer at all times of whatever’s in season (lately it’s been half-half peach and salted caramel).
Chef, Scott Williams
Chef, Scott Williams
What’s at the heart of Ragazzi?
The idea for Ragazzi came from wanting to open a pasta bar – similar in idea to a ramen or noodle bar – fast, fun and precise. I love the pace of a full Italian meal (antipasto, primi, secondi, dolci) but it’s not something I want to experience all the time and it tends to take a special occasion to commit. So, by pulling back just enough and placing all our focus onto our pasta and tapas-style starters, adding a strong wine list and a bunch of amari, we created Ragazzi.
What are you embracing this summer in Sydney?
Our new pasta shop around the corner on King Street in the Sydney CBD, Fabbrica, doubles as a bar in the evening so I’m pretty excited to see people hanging out the front on the high bars, drinking wine and Campari soda and eating our cheese, focaccia and of course, pasta.
Tell us your go-to outfit for apéritivo hour.
I live in skinny jeans, a black tee and work boots so it’s fun to don a bit of colour sometimes. When I lived in Spain there was a real resurgence for vintage printed shirts so I arrived back home with a suitcase full of them – so that’s a pretty classic go-to with a pair of jeans for evening vessels. I’m consistently rocking a Worktones cap too.
What’s your elevated outfitting like? I.e what would you wear for a formal evening/what’s your no-brainer choice for occasionwear?
A combo of the pandemic and the arrival of our new baby has put a pause to most formal occasions for now, but once we get back to it, it’s simple linen shirts for me during warm weather, or a tux in midnight blue.
What’s your favourite thing about Ragazzi in the summer? And how is it unique?
Ragazzi never closes after lunch so the kitchen is open all day; I love seeing people fill the outdoor tables on a warm arvo between traditional lunch and dinner times.
The middle sitting, not quite lunch, not quite dinner – an early aperitivo. People filling the outdoor tables on a warm afternoon is a serious vibe.
Now what? You’ve probably got pasta on the brain. You can find Scott Williams on Instagram, or book yourself in for a tipple and treat at Ragazzi.