Sella Vinoteca is a perfect culinary journey and the closest thing we’ll get to a European vacation this year.
When you first walk into the light-filled bistro in Randwick’s bustling new foodie precinct, Newmarket Dining, you’re struck by the restaurant’s understated elegance. From the team at Tim Leveson Interiors (Employees Only Sydney), the room marries the casual cellar door feel with the glamour of a wine bar. Expect a terrazzo floor made from multicolored marble offcuts, raw beams, oak paneling, blue accents, and a window into the adjoining wine store – the perfect room for a perfect dining experience.
Restauranter Fabio Dore (One Ford Street) was born and raised around Italian wines. He grew up in a winery, the biggest in his small Sardinian town of just 700 people. With Sella Vinoteca, Dore is paying homage to his childhood experience saying “I wanted to re-create that special experience of being invited into a home and experiencing a tasting with the owner… You taste and learn so much about the land, the family, and the passion that went into producing that glass of wine.”
Though you’re more than welcome to drop into Sella Vinoteca for just a drop of wine, we highly recommend staying for some food. Taking the reins in the kitchen is Chef Marco Masotti (former head chef at A Tavola). Having worked as a chef since the age of 14, Masotti plays the part perfectly, from the knife earring he wears to his masterful knowledge of flavour profiles. At Sella Vinoteca, Masotti flexes his creative muscles by creating a menu that is inspired by the wines, which means at Sella Vinoteca, you’d almost be able to have the unique experience of getting a food pairing to match your wine rather than the other way around.
The menu at Sella Vinoteca ranges from small tapas-style dishes to hearty mains. When we visited we started with warm scallops, served in the shell with a delicate dressing of beurre noisette, chives, and ginger ($8), an inspired savoury cannolo filled with marinated feta, cucumber, and a rich, sweet tomato jam ($8) and a beautiful ball of smoked beef tartare encased in ruby red raw tuna ($10).
For entrée, we enjoyed two visually stunning dishes. The lime and chili-cured trout, served with rainbow heirloom carrots and a spicy tomato jus ($23), evokes flavours of Japanese cuisine as much as it does the Mediterranean. The burrata dish ($23) has been a hit with diners (proving once again that cheese makes everything better). A play on a greek salad the burrata is served in gazpacho and generously garnished with ribbons of cucumber, capsicum, Spanish onion, and crispy croutons. Always keen to recommend the perfectly paired drop, for the two dishes Dore recommends a French Muscadet from Domaine de Bellevue and a Tuscan ‘everyday white’, a delicate blend of Trebbiano, Vermentino, and ansonica varietals.
The main course offerings at Sella Vinoteca are all delicious but, if you can only try one, our recommendation has to be the pappardelle ($27). The thick strands of hand-cut pappardelle with rich and succulent slow-cooked beef and mint ragu are incredibly moreish and pair beautifully with a glass of French red, this time a Coteaux du Vendômois, a Pineau d’Aunis blend from the Loire Valley.
Simply put, Sella Vinoteca is a great new establishment run by two men whose passion for food and wine is evident in every element of the restaurant. In our book, it’s an absolute winner!
You can find Sella Vinoteca at Newmarket Dining 154 Barker Street, Randwick (next to the brand new Messina!). They are open Tuesday – Sunday. Head here to check them out.