It's about time I wrote this review; Superman and I have been going to this restaurant at least once a week for about a year now. My biggest regret is that the one time I came here before the coeliac diagnosis, I got risotto instead of pasta. Every time we go, SM gets the best looking pasta dishes known to man, and I get salad.
Please note to find it - walk through the Fratelli Fresh store, and go up the stairs to the left, past the cooking school section and up more stairs. Anyway..back to the review...
Service: the staff here are consistently friendly and helpful, and many remember my gf/df status and tell me off the bat if I can order the specials of the day. I have heard the service unfortunately isn't as good at other branches of Sopra, but I have never had a problem here.
The other thing worth mentioning is this place is brunch/lunch only, and doesn't take reservations. So either turn up for lunch no later than 12:30 or expect to wait ~ 10 minutes for a table. Mr R. "doesn't do lines" so I don't bother trying to go here with him. But you can order coffee or wine in the line so I'm happy.
Food: SM has covered the pasta section of the menu 10 times over, and recommends anything with the word ragù, bolognese or duck in it.
Salad wise, depending on what season it is the best ones are
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Pancetta and Poached Egg
- Bresaola salad with Gala apples and aged Balsamic Vinegar
- pickled beetroot with soft boiled egg, pancetta, gorgonzola and rosemary
and as a side, the cabbage with reggiano and balsamic is great.
Dishes we dont like: smoked trout salad, and spaghetti carbonara
Desserts are always great, but rarely gluten and dairy free, but the sgroppino is good, as is the meringue, the baked rhubarb, and i'm told the tiramisù.
Ambience: as you can see from the photo, it is on the top level of a warehouse which is pretty cool, but not a formal atmosphere.
Who to take: parents who don't know why you live in Surry Hills instead of the North Shore, Eastern Suburbians slumming it west of Anzac Pde, your beau of the moment for lunch the morning after the night before, groups of friends who like getting boozed on good italian wine, reluctant boyfriends who don't understand how you spend so much money on produce.
Who not to take: grumpy children - their crying echoes, people who don't do lines, people with limited mobility - no disabled access.