Friday, 18 April 2008

bar reggio

135 Crown St
East Sydney NSW 2010
Phone (02) 9332 1129

Bar Reggio is the last bastian of noisy, family-style Italian restaurants left in the city..which would probably explain why it is crowded from lunch to close with an average wait of 20-30 minutes on a good day to get a table.

Once inside, its hard not to be absorbed in the restaurant theatrics of harrased-looking though friendly kitchen and wait staff. The aroma and heat from the pizza ovens pervades everything, so its probably best not to be wearing your finest couture.

The order of the day is standard Italian fare: pizza, pasta (sauce with your choice of linguine, penne, gnocci or ravioli), meat dishes and salads. Nothing fancy here, just good, old fashioned dishes done well.

Our Penne Reggio, a tomato-based sauce with mushrooms, olives and chilli arrived with self-serve parmesan and cracked pepper..the pasta was perfectly aldente, however the sauce could have contained a few more mushrooms (aren't they, after all 'meat' for vegetarians?).


The salad and pizza were both crisp and incredibly fresh tasting. Nice to see iceberg lettuce making a comeback in more trendy joints around town, though I suspect it never left the menu at Reggio.


The Pizza Capriciosa - anchovies, olives and ham, was the kind of pizza that Neopolitans intended pizza to be: thin but still slightly doughy. Although not an anchovy lover, the fuzzy fish was applied sparingly and really complimented the soft cheesiness (this doesn't come from the 'minimal' school of pizza) with a nice salty finish.

As we waved goodbye to the staff, who looked relieved that closing time was in sight, I noticed this sign on the back of the coffee machine:

Definition of Heaven and Hell:

In Heaven:

The police are English,
the cooks are French,
the mechanics are German,
the Italians are the lovers,
and it is all organized by the Swiss.

In Hell:

The English are the cooks,
the French are the mechanics,
the police are German,
the Swiss are the lovers,
and it is all organized by the Italians.

..isn't that the truth!