Eating at Criniti’s, Wooloomooloo

Criniti’s is like the unassuming gatekeeper of the fabulous stretch of restaurants and bars that make-up the Wooloomooloo warf and walkway in Sydney’s inner east.

Perched humbly below where some of Australia’s top ‘celebrities’ call home (for some of the year), the spread of the restaurant is massive and extends shoulder-to-shoulder with Sydney’s ever-popular Otto bar and restaurant.

Glimpses of the waterway below can be seen and heard as you relax by the boardwalk, people watching as some of the city’s most interesting characters parade themselves in front of you.

Inside, Criniti’s inner Italian roots and outward personality really shine by way of the two suspended Ducati motorbikes that dangles from chains suspended into the ceiling. Quite the spectacle should you dare to look up and a admire the bold tribute to the founders’ other passions.

The staff are all straight from the towns and cities of Italy and masterfully translate the impressively huge map-sized but pleasantly casual menu from Italian to English for those of us a bit less well-versed.

The first thing you notice, though, is that the menu is significantly huge: 200 items. Who knew Italians offered so much more than pasta?

The drinks menu offers a wonderful selection of group cocktails and individual drinks both by the glass or bottle, depending on how far you intend on stumbling home afterwards and feature most prominently genuine Italian varietals of wine and liquor that help change the palette into that of a more Mediterranean one. Some even come served in novelty glasses, barrels and Roman colosseums for the more rowdy.

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Criniti’s offers staple Italian dishes and starters like softly spiced Bruschetta on freshly backed sourdough bread. As a starter in an Italian restaurant, this is always the right choice.

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Followed by the insanely delicious beef carpaccio, stuffed mushrooms and zucchini flowers with ricotta, the entree sizes are enough to fill even the most greedy of eaters, while promptly leaving room for more.

It brings out the inner Italian in everyone.

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With rich predominantly tomato-based flavours, the food is masterfully crafted using some quality recipes that have been passed down from family member to family member, bringing a truly homely and welcoming family vibe to the Criniti’s way.

Mains of tortellini, sliced beef tagliata and rigatoni, a modern day Italian feast is served. The tortellini is fresh, stuffed full and swimming in a rich but lightly encumbered bath of its own flavours that in a way keeps the pasta tender and perfectly edible. Just the way tortellini should be.

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With rich Italian flavours in so perfectly medium-rare sliced beef with fresh and easy-to-understand salad sides, the tagliata was a welcome easy meal to join the table, bringing some basic Italian cooking to the fore.

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Dessert of three varying flavours of delicious Italian Cannelloni made their way to the table with a small, but generously flavoursome scoop of lime Italian gelato to cut-through the sweet and sugary custard-filled insides of the hard, crispy pastries.

Just the saw the dessert is meant to be, it was a perfectly crafted and romantically presented finish to an otherwise rustic and casual dining experience that for anyone with a hankering for quality food cooked quickly and perfectly as the Italians do, Criniti’s should fit the bill.

 

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Criniti’s is located at Shop 2, 6 Cowper Warf Road, Wooloomooloo NSW and are open:

Monday – Thursday 11:30am-10:30pm
Friday 11:30am- 11:30pm
Saturday 9:00am-11:30pm
Sunday 9:00am-10:30pm

Phone 1300 274 648 for a reservation.

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James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
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