Vanessa: A place that offers copious variations of spritz-based cocktails and colourful vegan and non-vegan pasta is sure to get people talking. Bianca and I found ourselves at the recently opened Mark & Vinny’s Spaghetti & Spritz Bar one Tuesday evening. The fact that it was a “school night” was no deterrent for patrons who willingly waited for a seat at this latest Surry Hills hot spot.
A small interior has people packed in tightly but gives a good vantage of the action behind the bar. There is also some additional outdoor seating if you are happy to brave the cooler weather.
We were greeted by one part of the restaurant’s namesake, Vinny, who explained to us that a lot of the dishes on the menu are reflective of their Italian heritage and the sense of familiarity of home cooking.
Of course, given their extensive range of spritz based cocktails, we were not intending to leave without trying one. Ranging between $18-$24 there is something for every taste whether you are after sweet, sour or something in between.
We get the evening underway with the melanzana ($12) which is a burnt eggplant dip, Calabrian chilli served with grilled sourdough. This was a solid start with the eggplant being robust in flavour and not overly oily, I didn’t dare touch the chilli though.
We also ordered the Burrata $20, one of our go-to staples, served with green tomato jam, basil oil and sourdough. The tomato jam was an interesting and tasty accompaniment to the fresh goodness of the burrata. We did find this particular burrata to be less creamy than those we have had elsewhere.
Moving on the pasta, we were keen to try one of their vegan options so we chose the Beetroot Spaghettini with mushrooms, truffle and cashew creme fraiche ($24) and were both surprised by how much enjoyed it. It is super creamy and you wouldn’t know it was dairy free. The truffle flavour is subtle but there and it’s a very unique pasta dish, worth a try.
The Blue Spirulina Tagliatelle ($34) with blue swimmer crab, bottarga and pangrattato has certainly been making waves across social media. It is definitely an impressive looking pasta, however, we found it to be a little too fishy for our tastes, the pangrattato does add an excellent textural element to the dish
Probably the dish that resonated with us the most was the Maccaruni Calabrese $28 with beef rib ragu. This was definitely reminiscent of our Nonno’s pasta sauce and the whole dish just screamed home-style comfort food, which we love! Definitely a go-to.
Of course, none of our culinary escapades is complete without dessert. First up was the Apple Pie Agnolotti ($15) with salted caramel, vanilla ice-cream, biscuit crumb. Two lovely little deep-fried delicacies with beautiful warm apple inside went very well with the salted caramel and ice-cream.
For something a little different we also tried Adrian & Connie’s Spritz Cake ($16). This is a delightfully unique little portion of bitter orange cake, blood orange granita and prosecco zabaglione. Not something we would normally order but the flavours work really well together and it’s quite a nice light way to end a carb-heavy meal.
It’s easy to see why Mark & Vinny’s has infiltrated the dining scene so quickly and successfully. The service is very friendly, the atmosphere is definitely buzzing, even on a weeknight, and their menu has a unique point of difference.
Photos by Bianca
*For Foods Sake dined as guests of Mark & Vinny’s Spaghetti & Spritz Bar