Arrivederci Da Orazio, Ciao CicciaBella
A sexy new Italian restaurant has taken the place of one of Bondi’s most popular pizzerias, writes Elizabeth Meryment. Images: Jason Loucas.
It may have been one of Sydney’s most successful pizzerias but the doors have closed on Bondi’s Da Orazio, with a new Italian restaurant — CicciaBella — opening in its place.
“For the first time in my career we are closing a very successful gig to start another,” says owner Maurice Terzini of the decision to change gears in the Hall Street space.
CicciaBella opened on Tuesday October 8 as a collaboration between Terzini and head chef Mitch Orr, whose highly regarded Darlinghurst venue Acme closed earlier this year.
The new CicciaBella opens with a taut and uncomplicated menu that takes some cues from the nearby Merivale hotspot Totti’s, in offering a starter list of simple cured meats and cheeses, including prosciutto, salami and smoked eggplant, shared over garlic bread, which is followed by a pizzette and pasta menu.
Pastas, which are all sub-$28 and start at $20, include fusilli with blue swimmer crab and preserved lemon butter, maltagliati with braised rabbit and pistachio and bucatini with osso buco ragu.
A hyper-short mains list offers three dishes: wood-fired flathead with seaweed butter and lemon, Kurabuta pork chop with salt and vinegar and Rangers Valley flank with Café Cucina butter.
The restaurant brings together some of the regular team associated with Terzini, including gun sommelier James Hird, and hot mixologist, Matt Whiley, currently residing at Scout bar at the Dolphin Hotel.
Hird says his list will be,“tight, short and sharp, a list that focuses on drinkability; it’s light, fresh and food-driven, these are wines to eat with.”
This all-Italian list will be focused on organic, biodynamic and sustainably produced wines.
The fit out by architects Herbert & Mason will make the space darker and more intimate, with bar dining and a chef’s table at the pass, although Terzini says it will still be suitable for families.
CicciaBella takes its name from a famous 1960s Italian toy — the cicciobello — that has been feminised for the new space.
The move to change up Da Orazio has been on the cards since original chef Orazio D’Elia left to join the Matteo restaurant group in 2017, leaving the eponymous venue without its namesake.
75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach