La Pesa Trattoria a cozy Italian spot in Darlinghurst, Sydney

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La Pesa Trattoria is a lovely Italian restaurant in Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia, with a diverse menu of tapas and mains, perfect for lingering over while sipping a bottle of wine.

La Pesa Trattoria Sydney Darlinghurst

The space is simple and relaxed, with a small main bar anchoring the front room and a larger dining room on the other side. Great for romantic dates for couples or for larger party celebrations, the restaurant offers a cozy, neighborhood feel with stellar attentive service.

La Pesa Trattoria Sydney Darlinghurst

La Pesa Trattoria Sydney Darlinghurst La Pesa Trattoria Sydney Darlinghurst

I had a tapas feast there recently, noshing on mostly cheese-filled plates that made me happy. La Pesa Trattoria’s tapas selections include Italian Salumi ($13 AUD), Hot Speck and Mozzarella Bites ($12) and Pork Hock Terrine ($15), with items like Focaccia Barese ($10) and Olives with homemade Grissini ($11) to satisfy vegetarian palates. Mains include pastas, veal and salads, all traditional Milanese recipes with an updated twist.

My meal started with the Gnocco Fritto Bowl ($8), fried bits of Italian bread paired with a cheese fondue. The cheese was flavorful and had a perfectly melty consistency, and the bread reminded me of a sopapilla-turned-savory. I loved the dish.

La Pesa Trattoria Gnocco Fritto

The Burrata Mousse ($15), a creamy mozzarella mousse with basil, croutons, confit cherry tomato and grated bottarga, was unlike anything I’d ever had. A creation of the restaurant’s chef, it was ultra-creamy and a tasty take on traditional burrata caprese.

La Pesa Trattoria Burrata mousse

Taking a break from the tasty cheeses, next up was the Rustic Wedges ($9), hand-cut potatoes with burned parmesan and truffle essence. The potatoes were ultra-filing, and I could definitely taste the truffle, which elevated their flavor.

La Pesa Trattoria Rustic WedgesThe Tomino Cheese and Figs ($15), which came with walnuts, balsamic glaze and crostini, was another gooey cheese creation that I loved for its sweet and savory melding. The walnuts were a great touch that added crunch and another flavor layer, and every element in the dish worked perfectly.

La Pesa Trattoria Tomino cheese and figs

The Cheese Board ($14) to finish the meal was a perfect ending because it had more sweet components. The gorgonzola, pecorino and taleggio cheeses were all high-quality, and paired with a spicy plum jam, crostini, olive oil and more walnuts, it would be both a great appetizer option or dessert.

La Pesa Trattoria Cheese board

If you head to La Pesa Trattoria, I’d definitely recommend going the tapas route and trying lots of the delectable bites the restaurant has to offer. You won’t go wrong with any of the cheese dishes, and the Burrata Mousse was an enjoyably innovative stand-out.

For more informationon La Pesa Trattoria, head here.

Old Growler in Kings Cross, Sydney, a tasty underground dive

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The punkiest burger bar I’ve encountered in Sydney so far is the Old Growler in Kings Cross.

Old Growler exterior

The underground bar (literally, you take steps to go down), instantly makes you feel cool in the dark and divey exclusive atmosphere.

Old Growler Sydney stairs

The bar has a large selection of draft beer, and I really enjoyed the refreshing and perfectly sweet Young Henrys Cloudy Cider, made here in Australia, $10 AUD for a pint. Order and pay for food at the bar, and a server will bring out your eats.

Old Growler Sydney bar

The Veggie Burger ($15) was a fried patty topped with field mushroom, chèvre and seeded mustard mayonnaise on a brioche bun, with a side of beer battered chips.

Old Growler Sydney veggie burger and chips

Every bite of the burger was enjoyable, and I quickly gobbled it up. The portion of thick-cut fries was a little smaller than I’m used to, but the meal left me satisfied and not stuffed, perfect for a bar night out. Other meal options include Australian classics like chicken schnitzel, plus poutine, fish, steak and cheese boards.

The crowd was super-friendly, and there was lots of comfortable seating.

Old Growler Sydney

I loved the fun touch of the bear designs on the food placeholders.

Old Growner Sydney interiorPlus, there was a delightfully smutty gender-neutral bathroom, decorated with sexy pictures, which added to the dive atmosphere.

Yelp Sydney recently named the Old Growler one of the city’s top burger destinations, and I can see why. The lively atmosphere, quick food service and large libation selection that includes wine, champagne and mixed cocktails makes it a Kings Cross hot spot.

Learn more about the Old Growler here.