Flavio Carnevale is relocating his southern Italian piazza Popolo to a new city location. The Rushcutter’s Bay venue will close on 13 August, with plans to reopen in the Sydney CBD next year.
With a new look inspired by Rome, cucina Romana Marta is slated to open in the former Popolo premises in mid-September.
“Popolo has a formality to it that’s better suited to the city,” says Carnevale. “With Marta we wanted to create a true neighbourhood osteria so Rushcutters Bay was a natural fit.”
A new open-style kitchen will produce dishes such as baked anchovies with sautéed curly endive; bucatini mussels tomato e pecorino; tonnarelli cacio e pepe; abbacchio alla scottadito (lamb cutlets); and filetti di baccalà (cod fillet).The menu will run alongside daily house specials designed to support regular patronage.
The Roman-focus is also evident in the new bar, with high-topped tables and a dedicated spritz bar-inspired drinks list. Amphora wines will be featured and wines poured from Carnevale’s custom handmade terracotta decanters.
“We are creating a space that has something for everyone – a communal table for big families, intimate tables for couples, a bar area for drop-ins, and a courtyard for those who want to enjoy the sun. The diversity is part of Roman culture where it’s common to find a politician beside a student in a neighbourhood osteria,” says Carnevale.
“Marta represents the evolution of my life. Popolo was my childhood upbringing in Basilicata, while Marta is my Roman adulthood where the first decade of my restaurant and bar career began. Marta is bringing that Roman feel to Sydney, which is currently missing,”
Melbourne’s DesignOffice (A. Baker and Higher Ground) curated the fitout, which incorporates a seamless outdoor–indoor connection and refreshed outdoor courtyard, new feature lighting, various seating styles, and a brighter neutral palette.