Ecco is Italian for ‘here’ and it’s here, on the top floor of the Drummoyne Sailing club, that you’ll find sweeping waterside views and deliciously authentic Italian fare.
Claudio and Carmel Carnevale share a passion for traditional Italian food and impeccable customer service. The duo worked together for a number of years before taking over Ecco in 1994 and subsequently moving the restaurant to the current site in 2000. For Claudio, hospitality has been a part of his life since the age of 16, his presence and personality a signature of the Ecco dining experience.
Given the location there’s no surprise the focus here is on local and fresh ingredients, with fish sourced from the nearby Sydney Fish Market. Alongside fresh seafood, the menu displays a large range of Australian produce sourced from Western Australia all the way to Byron Bay.
Start with crispy traditional veal and pork Bolognese arancini with peas and mozzarella, or lightly battered crispy zucchini flowers filled with ricotta, potato, semi-dried tomato and basil. Delicately sliced Australian yellowfin tuna carpaccio is served with basil, extra virgin olive oil and soy, or try the oven-roasted Northern Territory figs with creamy gorgonzola, crispy prosciutto and aged balsamic.
Homemade pasta includes paccheri ragu with slowly braised veal and pork, and linguine with Queensland crab meat, cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine and chilli. Fluffy gnocchi are tossed with Moreton Bay bug meat, Napoletana and a touch of cream, or covered in a rich gorgonzola sauce.
Moving onto the ‘secondi’ you’ll find a largely fish-focused menu, which is unsurprising given its riverside location. Whole oven-roasted New Zealand snapper comes dressed in herbs and olive oil, as do the scampi, while the grilled Western Australian Cone Bay barramundi fillet comes with potato puree and caponata. If seafood isn’t your thing, you can’t go past the pan-fried crumbed veal cutlet topped with napoletana, eggplant and melted bocconcini, served with sauteed spinach. Add a side of caprese salad with tomato, burrata mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil, oregano and aged balsamic.
No Italian fare is complete without dessert. Their ‘crespelles’ are a delicious combo of mascarpone-filled crepes, white chocolate sauce, strawberries and aged balsamic. The vanilla bean panna cotta is topped with caramelised fig and honeycomb, or go classic Italian with an affogato complete with crushed roasted hazelnuts and Frangelico. If you’d prefer to end on a savoury note, nibble at the cheese board served with lavosh and fresh fruit.
The cocktail list is filled with classics such as Aperol spritz, amaretto sour and negronis. An extensive range of liqueurs are available for aperitivi and digestivi, including grappa and brandy. Italian prosecco heads the wine list, with a generous selection of Italian red and white varietals.
The space is open and vibrant with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views, no matter the time of day.