SYDNEY | Paski Vineria Popolare is an Italian restaurant, wine bar, and bottle shop that has been on my radar since it opened in 2021. I finally managed to visit recently, and TLDR, it lived up to expectations.
It’s from a trio of hospitality pros who know their stuff – Giorgio De Maria, Enrico Tomelleri, and Mattia Dicati. It’s part of the new wave of venues that really works the way you want it to, the kind of places that are common in Italy. Want a bottle of wine for home? There’s loads of choice on the shelves. Want to drink it at the venue, or just grab a glass of wine and a snack or two without a booking? Sure thing. Feel like a full meal with friends? You can do that too.
My experience was the latter, a meal upstairs with a group big enough that we were able to order a lot of things to share. Enrico Tomelleri heads up the kitchen, and the food at Paski Vineria Popolare (upstairs is actually called Paski Sopra) impresses. The focus is on regional Italian food, with minimal ingredients per dish in order to let the quality of the produce shine.
Cured meats, displayed proudly in a cabinet, are sliced to order. Tapioca and asiago fritti are crispy delights, drizzled with chestnut honey, topped with a mound of airy asiago shavings. Beef tartare, served atop egg yolk, covered in a mound of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a highlight, and one of the best tartare I’ve enjoyed this year. It’s served with savoury, crustoli-like crackers.
There’s always three pastas on the menu, rotating and made from scratch on site each day. My table opted for all three, and they all impressed. Casoncelli all’Ampezzana with beetroot and goat’s curd; linguine alla chitarra with tuna, leek, and capers; and cicatielli al ragu Napolitano.
To crown the meal, it was hard to go past everyone’s favourite tiramisu. The version at Paski Vineria Popolare is dense, and almost custardy in texture. It’s delightful.
To drink, it’s no surprise that wines are the focus. The 400-strong bottle list showcases the best of small, independent Italian producers, featured by producer rather than style. The stories and people behind the wines matter here, and make each wine more enjoyable. There’s plenty of by-the-glass options, along with cocktails and beer.
All in all Paski Vineria Popolare is a place that’s fun, fresh, and delicious. One you definitely need to add to your Sydney list.
Paski Vineria Popolare
239 Oxford Street
New South Wales 2010
Mon – Sat: 5:00pm to 12:00am