OTTO Ristorante sits on prime Sydney real estate at Woollomooloo’s Cowper Bay Wharf. The view is on point all year round—overlooking the city skyline and harbour—and the food is always generous and delicious. It’s safe to say that this restaurant is the place to head if you want to impress a date, the in-laws or for your next lunch with the girls.
We should point out that the menu changes seasonally and that right now our top pick is the potato gnocchi; bathed in wild boar and Sangiovese ragu, then sprinkled with pecorino. And as we’re chatting about the best bits of OTTO we just have to give a shout out to their top-notch sommelier—the kind of legend who is always on hand for pro wine tips.
Their wine list is extensive, featuring the best that the Italian motherland has to offer. But don’t stop at the old country, as you’ll soon find out it pays to be adventurous when scouring the list for your favourite tipple. The first (obvs) is consulting the expert sommelier we mentioned earlier, and the other is to BYO your favourite bottle. ICYMI OTTO offers a BYO set menu for groups of 13 or more, which makes this the ideal waterfront spot for your next long lunch.
The set menu is concise, and a pretty good indicator that everything at OTTO is downright delicious, with three-courses of savoury dishes served share-style, and a giant tiramisu taking pride of place at the end of the meal. All visits to OTTO begin as all great meals should with marinated olives to snack on while you wait for your entrees of San Daniele prosciutto surrounding burrata and pickled rockmelon, a delish pile of zucchini flowers, and a plate of seared pepper crusted North Queensland black kingfish, that is almost too pretty to eat (almost).
The mains are substantial, so you’ll want to sample a little (or a lot) from each dish. There’s no way that you could choose between the braised lamb shoulder, which is as delicious as it sounds, or the share-style salmon fillet served with tomato, pomegranate, almond and sprinkled with fresh mint.
Now, onto what is arguably our favourite part of the meal—dessert. The tiramisu is massive family sized, and the waiter will serve it straight onto your plate, where it’ll sit for approximately 0.5 seconds before you scoff the lot. It’s even better than it looks—trust us because we made it our personal mission to do a thorough taste test.
OTTO is the ideal place to soak up the summer sunshine, or to head in winter if you need a reminder that our city is pretty damn beautiful (even when freezing). Between the wine and the delicate and hearty dishes, we have a feeling that this one definitely won’t disappoint. Even if you’re a food intolerance-afflicted human, or sit in camp vegan, because they also serve a seriously good vegan degustation. Yes, really.
Image credit: Carla Dibbs