Nestled amongst the sea of towering structures and office facades lies an unassuming new venture that lets its food do the talking. Bringing a taste of the old country to Barangaroo, Corso Brio is the latest dining experience to hit the Sydney precinct, but it’s nothing like its counterparts. Dip off the sidewalk, slide behind the monstrous wooden door and you’ll find yourself whisked away to a stunning Tuscan escape in the heart of Sydney’s business district. Who said travel was off the cards?
Opening in early November, the new 120-seat fine dining restaurant delivers a modern Italian menu, complemented by a stunning wine list curated by expert Jon Osbeiston. A sibling venue to Barangaroo’s much-celebrated wine bar and grocer Bel & Brio, the high-class establishment feels like something out of old-world novel, complete with the white tablecloths, sinking booth seats and a level of service that Sydneysiders have desperately missed over the past 12 months.
In fact, from the moment you enter the venue, luxury is on full display. Headlined by an interior inspired by the grand ballrooms of Europe, Corso Brio brings high ornate ceilings, grand chandeliers and rich timber finishes together in a rich array of textural elegance.
But the real hero at Corso Brio is the food. From elegant classics such as beef carpaccio with wild rocket, wild-caught New Zealand scampi and slow-cooked Margra lamb shoulder, to more modern interpretations like the citrus crush with buffalo ricotta, the restaurant is a culinary journey through time and region. Naturally, the standout is the handmade pasta.
A celebration of Australian culture with an Italian scope, the spaghetti with Fraser Island crab delivers a subtle richness that perfectly marries the two cultures. Salty and sweet, the red seafood dish is a must-try for lovers of Italian fare, not to mention the inspiring homemade egg tagliatelle with slow-cooked venison ragu, Sardinian pecorino, porcini and coffee dust.
For restaurant savants, it should come as no surprise. Corso Brio arrives by way of Italian-born executive chef Massimo De Michele, whose previous role at Il Ristorante at the Bulgari Hotel in Milan earned the restaurant three Michelin stars. Teaming up with head chef Alessandro Morabito, and restaurant managers Jacopo Mastrocinque and Simone Gibillini, Corso Brio boasts the kind of hospitality prestige that demands worldwide acclaim. And the proof is in the pudding.
“Alessandro and I are passionate about our Italian heritage and what we grew up eating around the table. The menu is a journey through regional Italian cuisine and we look forward to showcasing the dishes alongside one of the best wine lists in Sydney,” executive chef Massimo De Michele said. “I am excited to have a solid team of seasoned industry professionals who are passionate about creating an authentic and memorable dining experience for our guests.”
On the wine front, Osbeiston has delivered. The wine expert has crafted the 400 bin wine list to explicitly showcase a stunning selection of wines from around the world. Reading through the intensive collection and the theme is easy to pick up. Much like the food itself, the drops at Corso brio bring together the best of Australia and Italy.
“We have a strong focus on the Italian wine regions with an emphasis on aromatic whites and savoury reds. While acknowledging the great wine regions like Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti, we also have many other regions listed where rare indigenous varieties shine,” Osbeiston said. “There is also a strong focus on Australian wines. The Hunter Valley features strongly with a large selection of aged Semillons. We try to have aged wines on the list so guests can enjoy them at their peak development which adds to the gastronomic experience.”
Corso Brio is open six days for lunch and dinner and offers group bookings as well as function and event room hire.
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