Shop 3, Ground Floor, 161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
02 9267 0791
The Italian word for century, ‘secolo’, seems a fitting name for this Italian restaurant, which has found a home in the 115-year old Legion House Building in Sydney’s CBD.
Secolo may take its name from its lodgings, but its vision is to produce traditional and authentic Southern Italian cuisine in a contemporary Australian setting.
Secolo is the second CBD venture of owners Robert, Anthony and Tanja Arienzale. Together with Head Chef Mario Izzo, their aim for the restaurant has been to capture the essence of casual Italian dining and make it accessible to CBD dwellers for an everyday visit, as well as attracting visitors to the city just to experience a taste of Italy.
The all-day dining menu is inspired by Mario’s own upbringing and work experience in the Campania Province of Italy. For breakfast, enjoy authentic dishes like ricotta and nduja bruschetta with spicy soft salami, charred broccolini, ricotta, toasted almonds and poached eggs, or a traditional breakfast board of prosciutto, soft eggs, goat’s cheese, zucchini, roasted cherry tomatoes and focaccia. Pair your meal with a cappuccino made from freshly roasted beans and you’re good to go.
Mario’s attention to authenticity makes for exceptionally difficult choices when ordering lunch and dinner. Do you devour a steaming bowl of beef shin ragu pappardelle or tackle the tuna steak with eggplant, olives, capers, tomato and toasted pine nuts? How do you possibly choose between sharing a margherita bufala pizza topped with creamy fior di latte and basil, or a smorgasbord of top-quality antipasti with porchetta, eggplants and cured meats with focaccia and grissini?
One dish that is not to be overlooked is the traditional Italian Neapolitan pizza, which is produced under the strict guidelines of the Vere Pizza Napoletana Movement – Italy’s top certification in the quality pizza game. Mario has enlisted the well-rehearsed hands of a certified Pizza Chef, Francesco Spataro, to ensure that when it comes to pizzas, everything is exceptional.
Whatever delicious avenue you decide to go down, be sure to pair your dishes with a drop from the Italian-focused wine list. There’s also a range of cocktails, imported beers, aperitivos and digestifs to work your way through.
The restaurant’s stunning interior sets a special yet casual scene for dining at any time of the day. Credited to the award-winning Renato D’Ettorre Architects, the space caters for diners who prefer to sit up at the counter and chat to the barista over their morning coffee, and those who’d like to take up a cosy alcove for lunch and formal dining rooms for private events in the evenings. Be it pre-work breakfast or post-work drinks, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for at Secolo Dining.