The Italian Riviera comes to Sydney’s Circular Quay
It’s easy to be passionate about Italian cuisine. A comforting carb-load of freshly made pasta warms the soul. Seafood can be viewed as merely a vehicle for delivering aioli. Vegans look with envy upon those bursting fresh globs of burrata.
Cousins Edoardo Perlo and Stefano de Blasi understand the magic of their homeland’s food innately. Hailing from Liguria, a coastal area of northern Italy known as the Italian Riviera, they moved to Sydney in 2008 and noticed a lack of affordable deli goods. This led them to open their first Salt Meats Cheese restaurant and gourmet produce store in 2012. Initially they offered Ligurian classics like olives, charcuterie and pesto, but soon expanded into cooking classes and tiered wedding cakes make from wheels of cheese (genius). Today there are nine Salt sMeat Cheese emporiums across New South Wales and Queensland. Not bad for two boys from small-town Italia.
Bar Ombré is the boys’ first foray into nightlife. Positioned on a downtown rooftop, it’s the perfect place to relax with a drink and watch the sun set over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bar takes its name from Sydney sunsets – ombré means ‘the gradual merging of one colour to another’ and the boys love the way Sydney skies put on a show in the late of the day, blending colours from afternoon orange to dusky pink into twilight purple.
But the iconic Sydney view isn’t the only thing Bar Ombré has going for it – the venue is vibrant with colour and greenery. Rainbow-hued chairs and cushions are softened by pretty cascading pot plants and palms. Chic green-tiled tables add a Mediterranean feel.
And the food. Oh, the food. All the Italian Riviera classics are present. Antipasto plates of burrata, salumi, semi-hard cheese and pickles. Fried calamari with zucchini, pickled chilli and aioli. San Daniele prosciutto with eggplant, basil and pesto.
It’s fresh, honest fare designed to share – and in addition, from 6pm until 8pm each day there are free bar snacks, like truffle pecorino and cured pancetta with chilli and pepper.
The drinks menu offers Italian wine and beer as well as top drops from around the world, while the cocktail list includes new twists on old classics, like a pear and maple Old Fashioned and a vanilla and grapefruit Negroni.
“Bar Ombré is laidback yet sophisticated, a place where you can drop in for a quick bite at the bar and end up sharing a table with new friends you’ve just met,” says co-founder, Edoardo Perlo. “We’re thrilled to expand our hospitality offering starting with a relaxed bar where locals can enjoy life’s simple pleasures and embrace Sydney’s golden hours.”
As they say when clinking glasses on the Italian Riviera, saluti.
Visit: Bar Ombré , 1 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney.