Throwing down the gauntlet to other CBD cafés to lift their game, this one gives you the opportunity to dine on an architectural podium at the city’s business end. It’s a riot of vaulting spaces and exposed building innards, including a thermal skin and an eye-catching atrium. The elliptical design is also uber-green, allowing you the chance to marvel at cooling that uses old-fashioned airflow rather than air-conditioning (how novel). To eat, the thin, crisp, pizzas perform best. The Funghi E Patate ($16) – featuring potato, mushrooms, truffled Pecorino and broccoli is the best vegetarian pizza I’ve had all year. You’ll also like the Pancetta ($16) with caramelised pear, rocket and chilli, teamed with Insalata D Rucola E Radicchio ($14) for a balanced lunch. I also dipped into an easy-to-eat pasta, the Linguine Con Cozze E Gamberetti ($14/$21) with mussels, garlic prawns and chilli. Supplement it with one of the well-chosen and eminently quaffable Italian whites – the Villa Chiopris Pinot Grigio ($8/glass) is my pick. Pass over lurid macarons for the artistic (and tasty) array of cakes. The beauty of the White Chocolate Mango ($7) dome is hard to ignore, but my favourite had to be the Italian Baked Ricotta Torte ($7) that swathed my mouth in simplistic, creamy joy.
1 Bligh Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9223 3997