The well-stocked antipasti menu largely revolves around the CicciaBella garlic pizza fritta – made with our pizza dough and intended to be eaten with a mix of antipasto plates and, perhaps most-importantly, designed for wiping those plates clean. Try it alongside bone marrow with gremolata, our blistered cherry tomatoes or the smoky eggplant (all blessed with a little time in our wood-fired oven).
Pasta will be (as it should) seasonally focussed, with the launch menu playing to spring and summer, such as strozzapreti with zucchini flowers & pangrattato or maltagliati with braised rabbit & pistachio. All pasta will be made in-house, many making use of the excellent Bellata Gold semolina.
Mains are designed to be shared among friends: wood-fired flathead with seaweed butter and lemon or flank steak served with Café e Cucina butter – “an homage to Maurice and the place where this style of dining really found its feet in Australia.” (- Mitch)
Sommelier James Hird has pulled together a wine list that is “tight, short and sharp, a list that focuses on drinkability – it’s light, fresh and food-driven, these are wines to eat with!” (- James) The all Italian list is focused on organic, biodynamic and sustainably produced wines – this is about people and places, not vintages. The wine list will be complemented by a full drinks program by Matt Whiley of Scout Sydney, in keeping with the seasonality of the food offering.
Of course, there will still be pizza, the inspiration heralding from the pizza fritta of Maurice’s childhood summers. The new and smaller pizzetta also allows for the wood-fired oven to find new life elsewhere in the menu, making it a true part of the CicciaBella ethos: whole roasted fish, pippis and vegetables, sides and snacks come into play in a new way.
As with all great food and wine gatherings, we have also put careful thought into the music and ambience. The CicciaBella playlist comes courtesy of Carly Roberts of PICNIC Touring & Events, somewhat at the intersection of disco, dub, post punk and Balearic gems.
Meanwhile, architects Herbert & Mason have taken dining and seating down a more intimate route; the mood will be slightly darker, a little more intimate. This is about convivial dining for both small and large groups: banquette seating alongside smaller tables, bar seating and special “chef’s table” seating at the pass.
CicciaBella, will and always will be, a restaurant for the people and families of Bondi. Indeed, the name itself is derived from the famous 1960s toy that every Italian child will know – cicciobello – we just preferred a female vibe! We have a great kid’s menu that doesn’t talk down to them and especially doesn’t talk down to their health), that is familiar, yet interesting enough to get kids exploring seasonal ingredients. It is a menu that is designed to educate the next generation of diners.
We love our locals and this will always be a place for them to eat, drink, talk and laugh. Osteria, trattoria, enoteca, forno, bar, taverna, pasticceria – call it what you will, this is where we see Bondi locals eating for the next five years. We’re very excited to share our evolution with you.