Food Review: Bacco Osteria Espresso

There is a good reason for everyone to be excited about Andrew Cibej’s newest opening. Bacco, named after the god of wine, is a peeled back CBD Osteria and espresso bar that brings Sydney a definite reason to celebrate. Bacco is the real champion of control, with the kitchen boasting two in house, roman born bakers, and Cibej himself in the kitchen as executive chef and ex-Movida Scott Williams. Everything is really thought about, and aren’t really done like this anymore.

Like traditional Italian restaurants, there is an espresso bar attached which operates throughout the day, serving house made treats, coffee by Little Marionette and pizza by the slice.

I started my experience at Bacco with some Potato, Olive and Prosciutto Crocchette’s ($5 each) that sat on a dollop of aioli. The crocchette’s oozed cheese from their perfectly crunchy exteriors, it was everything I hoped they would be.  

This was swiftly followed by one of the most talked about dishes, Artichokes and Stracciatella ($18). For me, this was one of the highlights of the night. The sour vinegar of the artichokes, mixed with the fruitiness of the olive oil makes my mouth water thinking about it, pair that with the light and creamy curds of Stracciatella and the wafer thin crispy melba breadsround the dish out, balancing it out well.

What I was expecting from Bacco was a master-class in all things carb. I ordered the Bucatini, Pippies & Nduja ($26). Pippies are a weakness of mine, and this dish hit all the right spots, the Bucatini is an excellent choice for holding all the spice and deep flavours of the nduja and pippies. It’s an excellent dish, which I could easily eat endlessly.

I also had the Gnocchi, Pistachio and Parmesan ($24), which had all the markings of a great winter dish, when it was presented on the table it smelt like an upmarket Macaroni and Cheese, and I mean that in the absolute best way. I wish that the gnocchi was cooked a fraction chewier, a bit of texture that could’ve added to the dish.

The fit out is minimal yet cosy and casual; the wood panelling brings a warmth that makes the restaurant feel comfortable and familiar. There is a beautiful wine list by China Doll’s, Clint Hilery who has curated a predominantly Italian list, with a few Italian varietals from around the place. The new project from Cibej and his team promises to be rounded, sophisticated and complete, it delivers on its promises and will develop into a regular all day haunt.