Locals come here for chef Matt Moran’s modern-Australian dishes that blend European and Asian influences, like roasted scallops with shaved fennel and a tamarind-and-date dressing. The place is also popular for its view of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and for its unparalleled maître d’, Peter Sullivan.
We loved: Peking duck consommé with duck dumplings, shaved abalone and mushrooms.
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This long-standing pub just underwent an expensive renovation, but the tiled floor in the sprawling front bar helps keep the vibe authentic. In the moodily lit trattoria, chef Danny Russo turns out terrific Italian dishes like gnocchi with smoked ham hock and crushed peas. Out back, in the expansive beer garden, the drinks of choice are classic negronis and “lageritas” (margaritas topped with Hoegaarden wheat beer, served in a pint glass).
We loved: Squid-ink tortellini stuffed with sweet crab and served in a roasted tomato sauce.
Insider tip: Come on Sunday for the Italian roasts—whole suckling pigs or ducks cooked in a wood-fired oven.