In Short: Breakfast, lunch or dinner, if you find yourself in Woolloomooloo, you must stop in at Vizio Caffe e Cucina. The team here are passionate about bringing the best of Italian cuisine right to the heart, and tummies, of Sydneysiders.
Anyone who has been reading our blog, knows my love of authentic, simple Italian food…and yes, maybe I have a bias because of my heritage, but c’mon, I would struggle to find anyone out there who doesn’t have an affinity for the cuisine from the land of ‘la dolce vita’?!
New to the scene and joining the ranks of great Sydney Italian eateries like Entrata, House Bar & Bistrot, and Society di Catania, is the beautifully designed and warm atmosphere of Vizio Caffe e Cucina in Woolloomooloo.
It’s always a treat to have the whole Coco & Vine crew on board, and as soon as we walked in the door, the wonderful Matia greeted us, and as we’ve become accustomed to, we leave it to the experts to guide us through our culinary adventure for the evening.
We’re here for dinner, but Vizio Caffe e Cucina is open from 7am serving up the early morning crowds with coffee and breakfast, and throughout the day with their fantastic lunch menu. At dinner though, the mood changes. Warm, tungsten lights drop from the ceiling across the bar, there is banquette seating at the back, a front booth and tables along the window, perfect for evening people watching along William Street. While it may not be on the same side as the well-known Stanley St, this place is worth crossing the street for!
While we take in the atmosphere, Matia starts us off wth the cured meat board. Frankly, they can drop the mic on this dish – this chacuterie board is out of this world! A selection of aged and cured meats like the finocchiona, a delicious garlic and fennel air-dried cured salami from Byron Bay; the wagyu bresaola, air-dried, salted and cured beef top round from Tasmania; the prosciutto san daniele, a cured meat dried and aged for 21 months from Friuli, Italy; and hands-down the favourite of everyone at the table was the salame al tartfufo, black truffle infused, air-dried cured salame from our very Tasmania. Marry this with the light and fluffy home-made foccacia and crostini, and honestly the meal could have ended there and we would have been happy!
But the foodie tour has only just started, and with impeccable timing, cue the cocktails that arrive at the table. Non e` lo Spritz is a take on the Aperol version with tanqueray gin, Italian vermouth, fennel, and dry Lambrusco, and don’t tell my sister who works with Campari, but I do love this version better. It’s light and fresh with such a unique mix of flavours, and it just works.
Continuing on the gin theme, the Saladin takes tanqueray gin, and mixes it with mandarin, prosecco, and a unique ‘beer ice’ – essentially ice made out of beer. The citrus and sweetness of the mandarin matched with the dry prosecco and juniper flavour from the gin, again this is a interesting combination of flavours that is just sensational and goes down way too easily! Thank goodness it’s Friday night…
We round out our appetisers with a fantastic selection from the menu. The mini ragu arancini on top of truffle oil, how can you go wrong with anything infused with truffle oil?! The perfect size with a crunchy crust and a moist centre, these disappeared in a heart beat.
The black angus beef tartare is served with pickled radish, burnt shallot mayo, and sesame crisp, and is just divine. The beef was succulent and high quality, and melts in your mouth.
The artisan burrata salad provides a real freshness to our starters, with this amazingly creamy, delicious burrata, heirloom tomatos that burst with flavour and sweetness, and a smoky eggplant and black olive crumb that provides a rich earthy flavour to the dish.
The wholemeal frisella is a traditional Pugliese recipe, and the dry-baked wheat flour drum is served with octopus and potato salad, and is light and tasty.
Like all Italian meals should be, shared with those that you love over many hours, we linger and chat while the boys wander and take photos, and make that little extra room for the mains. And what a delight…
The pumpkin ravioli, with burnt sage, and oyster purée is delicate and light, full of flavour and a sweetness from the pumpkin with perfectly cooked ravioli pillows.
A modern take on a traditional italian dish is the whole eggplant parmigiana, and it’s on point. It has all the delicious, traditional flavours of a good parmigiana, with sweet tomato sauce and melted cheese, but baked into a whole smoked eggplant, makes this dish outstanding.
We’re also treated to the catch of the week, which is a bacala (cod) served with spinach purée and tomato. Cooked to prefection, the right level of saltiness and the creaminess of the purée is delightful.
Now of course, what’s a meal without dessert, especially when the resident Coco & Vine dessert aficionado Mavis is with us! So we choose a trio of the following: a traditional Tiramisu with hazelnuts, chocolate, and mascarpone; an Italian de-constructed pavlova with lemon sorbet, cinnamon dusted meringue, fresh fig, and mint; and a Chocolate Mille Foglie with raspberry sorbet, delicious chocolate mousse, chocolate crumbs. I don’t need to say anything except that there was a long silence as we devoured and demolished these! It takes a lot to keep us quiet at the table!
Vizio means ‘vice’ or ‘habit’ in Italian. After this incredible night, the warm and wonderful service from Matia, the fantastic food that brings Italy right to our backyard, we all agreed that we could definitely make regular visits here one of our foodie ‘vizios’!
*Coco and Vine dines as guests of Vizio. However, all photos and opinions are our own.