The friendly staff at Bar Reggio. It feels like family here.
If you have always wanted to go to Italy, and yet the words, ‘flight 86 to Italy is now boarding’ scare you as much as they do me...do not panic. Bar Reggio’s combination of amazing food and atmosphere will transport you there without even leaving sensational Sydney.
You won’t need to wait till the end of my blog for me to tell you that Bar Reggio is definitely a restaurant you should visit with family and friends. It was loud, busy and alive. From the moment we walked in, we knew everyone was having a great time. It was Monday night, and it was extremely busy with seating unavailable inside or out. I would suggest that before you go that you make a booking; especially on the weekends - or you could find yourself at the end of a very long line.
There is an option of eating inside or out. It can get quite hot inside, and the courtyard is perfect. It can be covered if you feel too hot, and there are heaters if the night is a bit fresh. There are murals on the courtyard walls of destinations in Italy and Sydney, giving you an insight into where the owners originated from and where they now call home. You get the feeling that you are somewhere in a little Italian village.
We were shown to our seats, and it was not too long before our orders were taken. The staff were very friendly and told us the specials of the day, which are also displayed on a blackboard. They also let us know that the menu could be altered to our taste.
The pasta I ate
Whether you are out for a pizza or a three course meal, the menu at Bar Reggio has a large variety. The pizzas range from $13 to $20 depending on your topping. You have your traditional supreme ($14 small, $17 large) and Hawaiian ($14 small, $16 large). You also have a range of pizzas that are named and based on the staff’s favourites, including Ricky’s traditional Bolognese and parmesan; as well as Anthony’s which has salami, olives and bocconcini. We opted to try the Reggio ($16 small, $20 large). The combination of plump prawns, chilli and a dash of garlic on a tomato and cheese base was just perfect. It had a thin crust with a nice crunch when you took a bite.
The pizza was hot and a little spicy, and pizza for me just is not pizza unless the cheese stretches away when you take a bite; and this had ample, stretchy cheese. Yum.
What my partner ate
The menu offers pizza, pasta, mains and dessert - as well as vegetarian options. For drinks there was a range of soft drinks ($4), sparkling water ($4.50), bottled juice ($4), as well as tea, flat white and cappuccino ($3.50 each). The restaurant is BYO at $2pp.
I really felt like pasta, and my choice was Alcatraz ($15) with penne pasta. You have the option to choose which ever pasta you like to go with the sauce of your choice. Alcatraz was a mixture of vegetables including broccoli, carrots, onion and spinach mixed through a napolitana sauce and cream. It was light and creamy, and I really did not want it to finish.
My husband chose the mussels marinara ($18). A generous serving of mussels with chilli, served in a delicious red sauce. It would not have been a complete Italian experience without a few slices of hot delicious bread for dipping into the sauce. The servings were very generous and well worth the money. Other choices on the menu included Chicken and mushroom risotto ($16), Sausage and Porcini mushroom risotto ($18) - as well as Eye Fillet with a range of sauces ranging from ($25-27).
There was not a large range of desserts to choose from. However there was enough to find something that you would like with quite a reasonable price tag. Desserts that were on the menu included baked ricotta cheesecake ($6) and homemade tiramisu ($8) - as well as a variety of gelatos ($5). There was also something special for the kids: a Kid’s Surprise ($5), comprising of two scoops of ice cream with chocolate topping and hundreds and thousands. We chose the homemade tiramisu. It was light and fluffy with the right amount of liqueur, without being overly soggy. A short black ($3) to go with it was a great way to finish off a beautiful meal that was perfect from start to end.
Bar Reggio has been open for over twenty years, and the same customers have been returning year after year - bringing with them their family and friends. After a while you can’t pick who owns the restaurant; who works at the restaurant; or who the customers are. After all these years they have become intertwined and beyond the delicious food, it is the friendships that have developed that keep bringing these people back time and time again.
The staff are very friendly, and are more than happy to stop and have a chat - making sure that everything is fine. Furthermore, if you needed anything, they were happy to assist you.
Bar Reggio really is a lovely place to dine at. You will get a great meal at an extremely good price. It’s very much family orientated, and I would highly recommend a visit.
Bar Reggio will be closing for Christmas on Sunday 22nd December 2013, and will re-open 13th January 2014.
Where: Bar Reggio Darlinghurst NSW
Why: Fun, loud, busy, friendly staff and fantastic food.
Cost: Pastas starting from $12. Pizzas starting from $13. Mains starting from $22. Desserts starting from $5.
When: Monday to Saturday 12 noon till late. Street parking is available nearby.