Why Ormeggio At The Spit Is Still One Of The Best Italian Restaurants In Sydney
This seaside Italian restaurant is Sydney’s answer to the Italian Riviera. At Ormeggio at The Spit patrons dine on the D’Albora Marina, surrounded by glamorous bobbing boats, views of Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay, and if you’re lucky enough, a sunset show. Despite its evolving menu, the food always remains contemporary, steeped in Alessandro Pavoni’s Italian roots.
“As a modern restaurant, for me, it’s important to change with the times,” says Pavoni. “11 years ago when I first opened Ormeggio at The Spit, there were other Italian restaurants in Sydney, but not many—not as many as today.”
Today, there are more Italian restaurants then there are pubs in the city, which makes it difficult for older establishments to stay relevant. Not for Pavoni, his ever-changing menu and facelifts, keep people coming back for more.
His recent overhaul happened post-lockdown, which saw the restaurant sport a new laidback look, with vintage Turkish rugs, textured walls, marble bars, and sheer curtains. The menu changed too, it’s all seafood now, which was always going to work for a restaurant by the sea. As you can deduce, diners are lining up for a taste of the new Ormeggio at The Spit, just as they were 11 years ago.
It could also have something to do with the fact, the restaurant has been a two-hatted establishment since 2009, as well as being counted amongst Gourmet Traveller’s Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants and NSW Delicious 100 list.
Recently, Pavoni had the opportunity to bring a new Italian restaurant to Sydney, which he did in a different way. For those who don’t know, the Crown’s shining new Italian star on the ground level, A’mare is also an Alesandro Pavoni establishment and the little sister of Ormeggio at The Spit.
“It was a dream of mine to do this restaurant, so when this opportunity came to me from Crown Sydney, I jumped at the chance,” says Pavoni.
While Ormeggio at The Spit is a modern restaurant, with an evolving menu, A’mare aims to bring Italian tradition back to Sydney, which Pavoni explains, is slowly disappearing.
“I wanted to bring my childhood memory of an Italian restaurant to Sydney. When I was a teenager, I remember going out with my family to nice restaurants and enjoying the service of true Italian restaurants,” says Pavoni.
At A’mare, diners will notice the table side service style, something that not many others have attempted to bring to the city’s dining scene. The fine-dining institution is already rising to the top as one of Sydney’s best Italian restaurants, and after seeing the success of Ormeggio at The Spit, it’s not hard to see why.
Although both restaurants are Italian, they offer different experiences, and service. One is inspired by tradition, the other is inspired by modern Italian dining by the sea. A’mare also offers high-quality service and structure, whereas its predecessor offers high-quality service too, but a more relaxed and contemporary style.
So what does it take to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney?
According to Pavoni, success comes from clarity and quality.
“I’ve seen many restaurants adopt a concept, but it doesn’t work for the market, or it’s unclear. If you have a concept that people love, then you’ve got a successful restaurant, until people grow tired of the concept, then you adapt,” says Pavoni.