They're back

January 2010

Two highly regarded Italian restaurant families who left the scene recently are coming back — and I for one am glad they are.

First, the Cipri Family — chef Carmelo and front-of-house Joe and Anthony with lots of backstage help from Mama Maria — who closed Swordfish at South Sydney Juniors last year have found a site for their new venture Cipri’s Italian (10 Elizabeth Street in Paddington no phone as yet), which will be opening early February. It’s a 100-seater with a bar and only one communal table (for those of you who remember Swordfish). Carmelo is looking forward to serving up a few classics, some with a modern twist. There’ll be plenty of produce — beef, pork, baby goat — coming out of the woodfired oven and Carmelo has tracked down a producer of the Florentine Chianina breed of cattle so he can serve a proper bistecca fiorentina. Maria will be making grissini and taralli (a hard biscuit flavoured with olive or roasted tomato) and also curing olives from South Australia. This is one to look forward to.

Five years after selling the Mixing Pot in Glebe, Peter Zuzza has bought La Disfida (109 Ramsay Street Haberfield, Ph 9798 8299) from longtime owner Rino Lattanza. Lovers of La Disfida’s pizza will be relieved by Peter’s answer to the question — what will be changing? “The biggest thing is not to change the pizza,” he said. “We’re re-painting, putting in some new light fittings and adding lot of seasonal antipasti to the menu. And there’ll be about 40 wines, mostly Italian with about five Australians in each category and a lot by the glass.” Peter has spent the summer being taught, by Rino, how to make pizza dough. It should be open by the time you read this. Peter’s last words: “It’s got to stay fun.”

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