Passeggiata, a Bright Italian Diner in Waverley by a Former Sagra Owner, is a Celebration of the Italian Way of Life

When development of chef Nigel Ward’s new restaurant Passeggiata stalled because of council issues, he booked a last-minute research trip to Rome, covering 60km on foot over two days. Walking the streets (especially after dinner) is part of the word “passeggiata,” but it’s the Passeggiata attitude that influenced Ward’s choice as the name for his new Waverley restaurant.

“Passeggiata is walking up and down a town square with no other intention than to enjoy life,” says Ward, who previously owned Sagra in Darlinghurst. Wide table.

The neighboring restaurant and wine bar on the two-story terrace captures the essence of a Roman osteria: refined yet unpretentious, comfortable yet attentive, bustling yet intimate. Ward Executive Chef Ryan Crothers (Uccello) hand-crafts the space with the creative direction of architect Tim Leveson. Inside, the bright yellow facade is echoed: an exposed brick arch surrounds a copper bar, and tan leather benches line the left side next to yellow tables. The original decorative ceiling from the 1890s and the staircase to the upstairs dining room have been carefully preserved.

Also Read :  Barcelona needs to beat Inter to avoid another early exit

Guests can expect the menu to change weekly depending on what’s in abundance at the time, but a few dishes will remain staples. Pastas are made on site, including Ward’s ricotta ravioli, a focaccia that took Ward and Crothers six months to perfect. Current highlights include roasted lamb pappardelle, a bright spring dish of asparagus with gorgonzola fonduta and walnuts, and fig leaf panna cotta.

The entire Italian wine list is curated by sommelier Dirk Bromley (Pellegrino 2000), a long-time friend of Ward’s. There’s no such cocktail list, but if you’re after a classic Italian treat, you won’t be disappointed – the bar has a strong selection of Italian amari.


Limoncello is made at home using a method Ward learned while living in a lemon grove on the Amalfi Coast. From making cheese on a goat farm in Tuscany to making salami in Piedmont, Ward’s time living and cooking in Italy has given him a way of cooking that doesn’t use Italian techniques and flavors as regionally specific.

Ward’s main influence is “cucina povera” (“peasant food”), simple, seasonal dishes that enhance readily available ingredients. At Passeggiata, fresh seafood is washed in seawater from the beach at the end of the street, and seasonal vegetables are cooked in leftover whey for house-made ricotta. The recipe is Italian, but the produce is as local as possible, from Feather & Bone Butchers and Frank’s Fruit Market in Haberfield.

Also Read :  Siena basketball's Killian Gribben makes fast impression

Next year, a long Tuscan-style lunch is planned for the garden on the northeast side of the property, and the wine list will continue to grow as Ward and Bromley continue their Italian wine adventure. For now, they’re taking it in stride and enjoying the journey in true passeggiata style.

318 Bronte Road, Waverley
(02) 9184 7747

6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Friday afternoon to 11 p.m


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.