Situated in Kent St, Sydney is the Vicolo Café, a warm and inviting space residing in what was once upon a time, a jam factory. The classic Victorian warehouse, which dates back to 1887, has been restored by renowned Sydney Architect Renato D'ettore and sits next to a cobbled laneway which, in its previous life, was utilised by horse and carriage. With the Italian word "Vicolo" translating to "lane, court or alley" the aptly named Vicolo Café exudes everything I love about converted warehouses. Warmth. Ambience. History. And in this case, you will also find great food, wine and coffee.
Owned by brothers Anthony and Robert Arienzale, Vicolo Café is very popular amongst our city's workers for breakfast and lunch. The Breakfast Menu offers choices such as panini, crostini, breakfast burgers, in-house roasted muesli, and some sweet sounding choices from their pasticceria. Prices vary from $5-$17 and you can check out their entire menu here.
Lunchtime once again offers something for everyone with prices between $13-$25. Choose from antipasti, a variety of panini, rustic porchetta roll, steak sandwiches, seared tuna salad and much much more. They are also known for their great tasting coffee.
Currently open for dinner on Friday nights only, it was a pleasure to be invited in to try some of their most popular menu items. Being Italian, I love Italian food and i know when it is good, and when it is not. Vicolo Café is a place that not only oozes character and atmosphere, but also serves up good food in a welcoming environment. It is a space that works for both for an intimate dinner or a group occasion with friends or workmates. Dinner menu prices range from a very reasonable $6-$24 and everything is shareable.
We started off with a few of the suggested appetisers. The calamari fritti were served with oven roasted garlic & lemon mayonnaise, followed by salsiccia sarda & pecorino, a Sardinian style salami served with pecorino cheese, drizzled with truffle honey, on top of a crunchy flatbread. From the specials the potato croquettes with swordfish and zucchini were a really nice combo. Although I am not generally a fan of the taste of truffle, the "truffle honey" won me over with its moreish sweetness. All the dishes were delicious and perfect for sharing with friends after work with a bottle of vino.
Next we had the Burrata, a creamy italian cheese which was served with refreshing baby beetroot & toasted almonds, Gnocchi alla sorrentina , soft and light house made baked potato gnocchi served with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil, plus Mezze maniche (pasta) al ragu di vitello e pecorino, which is slow braised beef cheek ragout with pecorino cheese. There was more than enough to share between 2 or 3 people and, although it sounds quite heavy, the dishes were actually tasty and light, not oily.
We finished off with a taste of their decadent home made Tiramisu, another choice being the Affogato alla vaniglia. Vicolo Café also offer catering and you can find further details here
or you can follow them on facebook and Instagram for all the latest information and mouth watering pictures of their delicious Italian dishes. With seating for 60 people, be sure to keep this place in mind for your next work or private function, your guests will be wowed by the venue and great food delivered by Robert and Anthony, who obviously have a passion for what they do.