Dolcissimo’s: La Familia Australia!

Haberfield: the Little Italy of Sydney

Haberfield: the Little Italy of Sydney

Sydney, Australia might be the last place on Earth you’d expect to find quality Italian cooking.  Oh wait, there is the Olive Garden.  Never mind!  Believe it or not, I found a most authentic Italian eatery, tucked away in a tiny suburb of Sydney, where I found myself awash in some of the finest pasta this side of Naples!  Or Long Island, but close enough!

In the Italian neighborhood of Haberfield, just northwest of downtown Sydney, Dolcissimo’s offers a full menu of Italian cooking; from handmade pastas, to assorted antipasti, and decadent gelato, this place offers all your favorite Italian eats in a cozy environment.  I discovered this place thanks to my Rabbitohs friend, Bill; he told me that it was owned by a friend of his named Mario, whom I was introduced to in Kings Cross.  On the night I was invited to dinner at his restaurant, I came wearing my best suit and tie.  By the time I showed up, I was introduced to Bill’s two children, Isaac and Charlotte.  Isaac, who was two, won me over, not just because he looked like one of my cousin’s children, but also because he was able to pronounce my name!  Charlotte, on the other hand, was only 10 months so her speech was quite limited.  Nonetheless, she was adorable!

The restaurant reminded me of Dancing Zorba’s, the fictional diner from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  There were kids making a mess at the table, food being slung left and right, and boisterous conversations filling the place.  If only it had the screeching chorus between Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), I would have broken out in laughter and hives!  During dinner, I began to feel like I was home.  A serving of hot bread and salad caprese came out, and everyone reached for their forks.  Granted, I’m too crazy about salad caprese, but the hot plate of bread was nothing short of delicious; it was more akin to pizza bread covered in melted Parmasean and olive oil.

For my entree, I was brought a big bowl of Caesar salad.  By the way, an entree in an Australian restaurant is what comes out before your main course.  No, really!  My salad had a Caesar-like vinegarette; not creamy like a traditional dressing, but it was a lighter fare.  It included large shavings of Parmesean, bacon rashes (yes, bacon!), and croutons.  The weirdest part of the salad was this strange dough pocket that was filled with a mixture of tomatoes, peppers, and oil.  It was cold, and I thought it was an empanada.  My main course was a big bowl of meat filled tortellini, smothered in a thick bolognese ragout.  One taste, and I was more than convinced that Australia definitely has food worthy of a kitchen in Little Italy!

"Caesar salad, Aussie style"

“Caesar salad, Aussie style”

"Italian restaurant, Aussie drink!"

“Italian restaurant, Aussie drink!”

Tortellini with Bolognese ragout.  Mangia!

Tortellini with Bolognese ragout. Mangia!

All I could think about was how much I wished my family was here to share this.  Growing up in an Italian family, good food and cooking is an integral part of the house.  I’d have a pretty difficult time convincing my family that there is good Italian food in places not called Italy or Long Island.  Being inside Dolcissimo’s with Mario, Bill, and his family gave me a slice of homegrown goodness that ailed whatever homesickness I was feeling.  The food, the atmosphere, the conversations, and the gelato was a little slice of Italy, halfway around the world!  A la Familia!  Mangia!

"Another satisfied customer!"

“Another satisfied customer!”

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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One Response to Dolcissimo’s: La Familia Australia!

  1. Alisoun Brewster says:

    Yummy in the tummy–so fun to hear about your adventures!

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