I am a freelance reviewer in Sydney, and lover of sharing my experiences in all things food, wine, entertainment and travel related.
Published November 29th 2012
Wining and Dining by the Poolside
Located on level four of the Ivy mega-complex in Sydney's George Street is Uccello – a refined yet rustic, authentic Italian restaurant.
Offering urban elegance, the poolside restaurant has a very Los Angeles feel to it. The design has a fresh and contemporary fit-out with a lemon and white colour scheme, birdcage lights, white table-clothed tables paired with timber chairs, and beautiful potted plants.
One wall appears to have a neatly constructed pile of wood logs, and the open plan kitchen features a giant woodfire oven, as one would expect in an authentic Italian eatery.
Antipasti platters are a great way to start off any Italian meal, and the plate of cold cuts paired with parmesan crustini is an excellent choice here. The cold cuts include prosciutto, several types of salami (including a very spicy varietal set to give your taste-buds a real buzz), coppa, and ham, with many sourced from Italy. The meats are particularly fresh and flavoursome, so this is a starter dish you must try.
With the definition of Uccello meaning bird in Italian, it would be silly not to try a bird from the menu. The special of the day is a fully cooked partridge served with a bean salad. Having never sampled a partridge with or without pear tree, I was 'pheasantly' surprised at the flavor of this small yet juicy bird and would highly recommend this dish.
All of the above creations are from the menu of Italian-born head chef Eugenio Riva, who is the celebrated chef of Uccello's one hat kitchen. He takes his favourite dishes from his homeland in Northern Italy – Como, and adds his own flavour.
The whole menu is stocked with authentic Italian fare including cured meats, house-made pastas, animal and vegetable marvels and a dessert menu that's filled with things that taste as good as they read.
The wine list has a well developed list of Italian varietals and the floor staff are friendly, knowledgeable and attentive, and casual but cool in their denim shorts and sneakers.
Everything about Uccello is a class act, and the restaurant is a place to be seen. Organise a date for food and drinks by the rooftop pool and dive headfirst into the mouthwatering Italian dishes.