Bel Paese Ristorante - North Sydney
Fully Licensed (no BYO)
Review: Owned and managed by Pino and Chris Russo for 20 years, Bel Paese Ristorante combines a sophisticated restaurant space with classic Italian hospitality and an authentic menu. Located in the heart of the North Sydney CBD, Bel Paese is popular with the local corporate crowd for its consistent service.
To read more about Bel Paese go to the de Groots blog here.
Source: Best Restaurants of Australia
Location: 500 metres from North Sydney station. Only 3ks from the CBD across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in North Sydney.
Details: Bel Paese is an a la carte restaurant that is fully licenced offering a discerning and changing selection of International and Australian wines by glass and bottle. The a la carte menu changes seasonally and there are daily specials of pasta and seafood. The terrace with floor to ceiling fold back windows looking onto the garden, is the most popular area for lunch and dinner diners.
Bel Paese has a dining capacity of 130 seated or 200 standing and can be fully booked, at no additional cost, for evening or weekend functions with a minimum of 70 guests with no time restriction. You can choose from a variety of three course meal options to suit your budget. Bel Paese will co-ordinate any other requirements that you may have such as flowers for tables, musical entertainment, dancing area, cakes, celebrant and photographer. The restaurant can also be opened up onto the outside lawn for drinks before retiring inside for a sit-down occasion. This is very popular for wedding receptions.
Bel Paese is also ideal for product launches and any equipment that is required, such as projectors or computer cables etc, can all be arranged by the restaurant. There is an adjoining cafe that serves Lavazza coffee beans and a selection of both takeaway and eat-in meals.
Profiled by de groots media: Tucked inside a large office building on Berry Street, Bel Paese is one of North Sydney’s oldest restaurants. At the heart and soul of this Italian stalwart are husband-and-wife duo, Pino and Chris Russo, who have owned Bel Paese since 1990.
The first thing you notice about this restaurant is the welcoming and warm sensibility of the Bel Paese team. From Pino and Chris, the owners and also maître d's, to John, their head waiter, who has been with them for 18 years, every single staff member is clearly passionate about the hospitality industry. The waiters aren’t uni students, they are knowledgeable about the menu and wine list, suggesting popular items or clarifying any ingredient queries.
The restaurant space is open with floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering 270-degree views of a small garden oasis, complete with a water feature and manicured lawns. The tables are all wide apart and the high ceilings swallow sound, so you can actually have a conversation while you eat. It is the perfect space to take a business client where the food impresses, yet the space is still quiet, creating a professional environment to discuss any private matters.
More than just a business lunch destination, Bel Paese has a loyal following of local clients who return meal after meal, to appreciate what, owner Pino, describes as “classic Italian food”. The menu represents the entire Italian spectrum with antipasto, whitebait fritters and prawn linguini for primi while the secondi options range from slow roasted pork belly, eye beef fillet with red wine jus to baked scampi and veal scaloppine topped with sage and prosciutto.
A simple wild mushroom and eschallot tart is topped with a watercress salad, that adds a freshness to the buttery filling, with the entire dish has the perfect pastry-to-filling ratio. In simple dishes such as these, the proof in the pudding is all in the ingredients so it’s of no surprise that I discover that at 4am every week, Pino can be found at the Flemington markets wandering the stalls to find the freshest of zucchini flowers and the most flavoursome of herbs. Beyond the ingredients, every member of the kitchen staff have Italian roots and Ridolfi, their head Chef, travels home to Italy once a year where he returns to the Bel Paese kitchen inspired and invigorated. Bel Paese is a true Italian restaurant with its warm and unwavering hospitality and relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere.
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