A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published June 1st 2015
Let Italy come to you
Would you like a window seat? While sipping on coffee and slurping up pasta at Nonno Lucio, one could be mistaken for dining in a historical hilltop village in Italy. The two month old pride and joy of Sharon & Lucio brings budget-friendly Italian cuisine to the colourful suburb of Glebe. Not long ago a picture in Sharon's head, the cafe has been made a reality with more visions for it set to come to fruition.
The cafe is cosy yet swarming with Italian sophistication. A giant trompe l'eiol photo of Italy adorns the back wall. Stepping through the rustic doorway one has the impression of looking out across an older piece of this European destination. The clever mural not only creates the feeling of dining in another place but it makes the space feel more open. Grander too. Allow your senses to be deceived by the three-dimensional illusion, and take an Instagram snap. From the right angle, it may have friends asking if you've actually jetted off.
In keeping with Italian culture, breakfasts at the cafe are generally lighter meals. Think pastries accompanied by an espresso. Disclaimer, they do also have omelettes for those wanting something more. If you stick with tradition, you'll be looking for something more substantial for lunch. Nonno Lucio has a 'build your own' pasta menu, offering a diversity of pasta types and sauces. Perhaps you're feeling Fettucini with Carbonara, or Tortellini with Bolognaise. Other Italian favourites such as Parmigiana and Antipasti platters feature. Hot chips do too, simply because they never go astray. With dishes between $6 and $18, the cafe offers affordable feeds.
Sharon plans for a panini bar in the near future. Again, this will spoil you for choice as you'll get to 'build your own'. Look forward to a buffet of meats (such as salami) to choose from, with other ingredients such as eggplant and capsicum available for a little extra. Either dine in, perhaps overlooking beautiful Italian scenery, or take away. Also on the agenda food-wise are gold medal winning gourmet pies for the winter.
There are plans for the venue too. While the courtyard is currently comfortable, Sharon is looking to add extra greenery and bring a 'home meets nature' concept to life. To make it more than just a cafe, there is a view to host community activities. A quilting class is looking to be set up, and options such as knitting and book clubs are being considered. If you would like to collaborate with Nonno Lucio on a local community project do enquire at (02) 9660 5350.
They like trompe l'eoil here, and shiny motorbikes.
I love how Nonno Loucio is a big supporter of local produce. Their olives come from Kangaroo Valley, Pepe Sayer is their butter of choice (famous for infusion of cultural flavours in butter using local milk), and they are looking for homemade jams across Bowral and the Blue Mountains. Coffee comes from Aroma's No.1 Ruby Street roast. The gold medal winning espresso goes to show that not only do they like local products at Nonno Lucio but that they also like to provide top quality to their customers. For an extra local and personal touch, the herbs used at Nonno Lucio come from Sharon's mother-in-law's garden. How's that for close to home? On this note, drawings (for sale) and paintings on display come from personal connections too.
The cafe really is ideal for a cosy catch up with a warm cuppa, or for those who go to uni in the area, a relaxing and affordable venue to get some study fuel. Have a break from your busy Sydney day in Italy. Enjoy what the cafe has to offer and be sure to check out the exciting additions in future.