Dining with an Icon
Story by Elena Antoniou
For decades, Angelo’s in Cabarita has been an institution for classic Italian cuisine. Now its experienced new owners have big plans to preserve its legacy while propelling the venue into an equally successful new era.
Perfectly perched on the harbour foreshore for nearly three decades, Angelo’s Cabarita – opened by the Piccin family in 1989 and previously known as Angelo’s On The Bay – has been the most iconic waterfront Italian eatery in the Inner West.
While its original Italian proprietors have departed, their legacy permeates through the eatery and continues to inspire its new owners, seasoned restauranteurs Anthony Prior and John Duncan. The pair, formerly of the Keystone Group, which was at one point responsible for 16 well-known venues in Sydney and Melbourne, are breathing new life into Angelo’s while embracing its traditional roots.
“Brother and sister team Marie and Guy Piccin were the original owners, but when Marie decided to retire and sell, it sparked our interest,” Prior says. “We knew of the fantastic work they’d done over the years and saw a real opportunity to combine our experience and drive its continued success into the future.” After a recent fit-out by designers Fugen Constructions, known for refurbishing hospitality venues such as Terrigal Beach House and the Cucina Porta restaurant at The Star Sydney, the result is an elegant coastal trattoria vibe. Keeping with the old school tradition of exceptional food and attentive service, Angelo’s feels like the type of place a manager opens the door to greet you and the head waiter folds a napkin on your lap.
The view is equally captivating: an intriguing vantage of Sydney Harbour that looks over Phillips Landing. It’s the perfect place to watch Front Runners sail past the famous walk from Cape Cabarita to Hen And Chicken Bay on the Parramatta River, a view made even better if surveyed while sipping Montegrossi Chianti Classico. Head chef Claudio Zanotti, who harks from Rome in Italy, joined the restaurant in February 2020 after working in a diverse array of venues, from casual trattorias to Michelin star restaurants, throughout his career.
Mention this article next time you go to Angelo’s and receive a complimentary glass of wine or beer with your meal.
Recently, the team opened a kiosk underneath Angelo’s to offer the area a casual takeaway option. “With a large section of our community spending much more time at home, we wanted to give them something meaningful,” says Prior of the new space, which is run by his wife Claire. It offers a variety of take-out options including freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, pastries, and savoury snacks, as well as healthy breakfast and lunch options.
“The fact that some of our staff have worked at Angelo’s for over 20 years speaks volumes for the culture of family that the Piccins instilled,” says Prior. “This is what is most unique to Angelo’s and, in my opinion, what still sets us apart to this day.”
At Angelo’s, Zanotti merges his diverse experience to perfection, using high quality local produce and adding a subtle modern twist to every dish. His speciality is to use locally sourced fish to create delicate poached dishes and classic risottos, the latter of which I know from experience to be truly exceptional. Bar manager Giuseppe de Gregorio has developed a comprehensive wine menu featuring an impressive selection of biodynamic wines from Tuscany and Veneto, all ideal for pairing with the seafood dishes on the menu.