In Short: Cucinetta in Woolwich combines traditional Italian favourites with inspiring innovations, all set on a breathtaking stage with epic Sydney Harbour scenery as the backdrop. Chef Mazzotta has created a food experience that is world class and yet draws a relaxed atmosphere from its quaint surrounds. Woolwich is lucky to have this caliber of culinary mastery at its doorstep. Tip: Definitely order the herb and garlic flat bread with buffalo ricotta and truffle honey to start your meal off on the perfect foot!
Sydney does many things well when it comes to “la dolce vita”, but when you mix a stunning backdrop of this harbour city’s skyline with masterful execution of traditional Italian favourites, the combination that is Cucinetta in Woolwich, makes for an experience to be remembered.
Cucinetta is one of those rare surprises that Sydney keeps tucked away in some of it’s quaint, encircling neighbourhoods. Following Woolwich Rd as it winds its way through the glorious, green canopied Hunter’s Hill, you’d never guess there’s a foodie’s treasure waiting at the end.
Chef Vincenzo Mazzotta’s skill in combining tried and true Italian methods with modern inspiration is showcased in every dish. It really is hard to know where to look when you have gorgeous plates arriving at the table and that incredible view of the city spread out before you.
Our visit to Cucinetta begins elegantly, with sommelier and head waiter Lucio dazzling us with a delicious drop of the 2016 Val D, Oca Extra Dry Prosecco Millessimato paired with what initially seemed to be a simple herb and garlic flat bread.
Let me tell you though, the accompanying buffalo ricotta and truffle honey had our table simply gushing! What a way to start this memorable meal!
A little detour into cocktail territory is a lovely diversion whipped up by our lovely fellow foodie, MJ from @soul_plates_australia as a palate cleanser before Chef Vincenzo’s next act.
Showstopper plates that not only draw the attention of the tables next door, but back that up with flavour and finesse that reminds us foodies why we love this pursuit so much, are rare. Well, we’ve found one in the grilled Fremantle rock octopus, with heirloom tomato, buffalo fetta, smoked eggplant, and nduja. It’s cuts like a fine steak, has a mouth feel of pork, and the luxuriant, yet subtle flavours of the ocean. The grilled aspect of this dish is a perfect approach to its preparation and imparts an essential smoky dimension to its flavour.
I’ve seen foodies fall out over their musings on what makes the perfect gnocchi. Some side with the view that a smaller, firmer nibblets from Nonna’s kitchen are the one true form of gnocchi. Others promote puffier, potato prominent pillows that almost disappear when popped in the mouth. I, for one, am Switzerland on the matter and just enjoy the best of them both. So when Cucinetta’s masterful kitchen combines immensely fluffy, melt in your mouth pillows of joy with gorgonzola, pork sausage, pistachio, and fresh figs, I begin to think that this dish alone could bridge the gnocchi divide for all. Bravo Vincenzo!
13 hour slow roasted Riverina lamb shoulder with buffalo feta, pumpkin, pomegranate, brussel sprouts, need I say more? Rich, tender, hearty, divine, it’s all of these and more. Paired with a 2011 Montoro Chianti Classico, the lamb almost leaps off the plate with flavour. The wine couples so sublimely with the dominant notes from the meat, never overpowering, and always complimenting. Another deft selection from the talented Lucio.
How to put a topper on this triumphant meal… I sure wouldn’t be up to that challenge, but thankfully Vincenzo has more magnificent secrets up his sleeve. One of which is the semifreddo with mulberry sorbet, meringue, and kiwi berry. A delicate crescendo to a symphony of food with Chef as the brilliant maestro.
Woolwich is fortunate to count Cucinetta among its ranks. It brings world class cuisine to a space that embraces it with epic scenery, and refined service. Under the craftsman hand of Chef Mazzotta, the Cucinetta team have cultivated an experience that draws Sydney’s gastronomic epicentre toward the shores of Woolwich. Complimenti!
*Coco & Vine dined as guests of Cucinetta. However, all opinions and photos are our own.