To me there’s something about fine dining with spontaneity that makes the occasion more memorable than if you book weeks out. On a recent sunny Sunday, to my surprise, I reserved a table for two at Ormeggio with only three hours notice. And what an unplanned treat it turned out to be.
We arrived at Ormeggio a little early and were offered drinks at the bar during the short wait for our table. This gave me an opportunity to take a walk around the marina and soak in the stunning setting. Ormeggio at The Spit is, not surprisingly, located at The Spit in Mosman. There’s plenty of parking just outside or take one of the many buses that head in that direction. Once inside most tables offer views of the harbour, Seaforth mansions and boats of all shapes and sizes. On a sunny day you can’t beat feasting alongside Sydney’s sparkling blue harbour at a spot like Ormeggio.
Ormeggio’s Executive Chef Alessandro Pavoni started his career in the north of Italy and went on to work in a Michelin starred restaurant before making a mark on Sydney’s dining scene. And it’s his contemporary cuisine at Ormeggio that have earned him and the team at Ormeggio two chef’s hats for the last few years.
1. The degustation menus are very tempting. Choose from the five course Sapori ($95) or the eight course emozini ($112), matching wines are available with both. The whole table has to go for this option – all or nothing.
After a little deliberation we opted for the a la carte – being keen to choose our dishes. Here’s a visual taste of the feast we enjoyed – everything at Ormeggio tastes as good as it looks. The bonus is that all of the menu options include exceptional ‘I could eat this everyday’ bread as well as the chef’s cicchetti.
Both of the two cicchetti plates were so beautifully presented that I almost felt guilty eating them. Like the dishes that followed the cicchetti arrived on anything but ordinary serving plates. As I slowly devoured each one I wanted to say a small thanks to the team behind the scenes who must spend hours daily working on these gems.
A note on the bread – it truly is amazing especially alongside the home made ricotta. You can order an extra serving of bread for $9 but unless you’re ravenous I’d be tempted to save room for everything else that follows.
Moving on to the antipasti my high expectaions continued to be exceeded. The delicate raw meat biodynamic veal tonnato was stunning and the chef kindly served us this in two portions (as we decided to each order three courses but to share a antipasti and a dessert). So the standard portion is larger than you see here.
Looking back a couple of weeks later of everything I enjoyed at Ormeggio the pasta dishes really stand out. Of three dishes on the menu we tried two. The tagliolini is egg pasta and is made in house – it’s so full of flavour and yet is still light – it’s the kind of dish that will keep me going back to Ormeggio.
For main course we both opted for the same dish – with very fond memories of a similar suckling pig dish at Pilu (another waterside chef’s hatted fine dining must-do on the Northern Beaches). The suckling pig at Ormeggio is served with jerusalem artichoke, green apple and fennel. The meat is succlent and tender. And the skin is oh so just right crispy. I could have eaten this twice over.
Finally for dolci we opted for a dessert that I caught a glimpse of on arrival. Carrot with fennel seed gelato, farro and vinegar caramel. Again as with the primi this dessert was split over two plates as we were sharing so a standard serving would be larger.
Overall at lunch at Ormeggio is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. Don’t go expecting a bill of less than $100 per person though – it’s likely to be closer to $150 if you indulge in a few wines. But in my view at least it’s a foodie experience that’s worth every dollar.
- Before you book check out the specials at ormeggio.com.au – the stress Sunday dinners offers a 6 course degustation for only $69 and there’s currently a good value lunch special available.
- On the Ormeggio sourdough bread if you really do want some more then note that it’s made on site and available daily from Ormeggio’s kiosk (oh how lucky those locals are).
- Got children? From what I could see children and infants are welcomed so don’t use lack of a babysitter as an excuse to put off a visit.
By Feast Wisely
- D’Albora Marinas, The Spit, Mosman NSW 2088
- Phone: 02 9969 4088
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday