The Italians are known for creating the classics – art, fashion, cars and food – and let’s be honest, no one does a classic better than them. Barbetta is no exception. No frills, nothing too crazy, just good old-fashioned Italian fare.
Snuggled next to big sister venue, Cipri Italian, on Elizabeth Street, Barbetta has added something new and very special to the local Paddington food scene. This is a place for families to come together and old friends to meet for their regular lunch dates, a hub of activity and simple, delicious food.
The moment you enter this beautiful, light-filled eatery, it is easy to forget that you are in central Sydney. The fit-out, vibe and staff are all Classico Italiano, much more Via Montenapoleone, Milan, than Elizabeth Street, Paddington.
At the helm are the three Cipri brothers, Anthony, Joe and Carmelo. It is a true family affair with the three brothers checking every recipe with their mother before placing it on the menu and steering every single aspect of the venue from the food and drinks to the design. Anthony, Joe and Carmelo collaborated with local Sydney design studio, ACME & Co., to realise the 1950’s classic Italian trattoria. The large space is filled with shelves of beautiful pasta and oil, enormous antique mirrors lining the walls and soft brown leather banquettes dotted around clean, retro wooden tables. All action takes place at the bar though, lined with tall stools and people sipping on either espressos or San Pellegrino while nibbling on some fresh cannoli.
The food is as you would expect, just as nonna makes it. All the usual suspects appear on the menu as well as a refined breakfast selection, keeping one foot firmly planted in Australia. Catering to a distinctly local crowd, Barbetta also offers takeaway meals, sauces, cheese and meats, perfect top quickly heat and pop on the table come dinner time. However, those who would prefer to replicate the dishes themselves will be eager to get involved in Barbetta’s twice-weekly cooking classes and workshops.
It may be a new addition to the Paddington landscape but Barbetta already feels like it has been around forever. This place is sure to become the local go-to for so many with the fridges in Sydney’s eastern suburbs already filled with ragu ai funghi e tartufo, salsa napoletana and minestrone. The only thing missing is a gaggle of old Italian men, parked at the bar, sipping their espressos from open to close.