Osteria di Russo & Russo

Osteria di Russo & Russo is unique. Partly because it has to be, and partly because they can be. This tiny Italian restaurant nestled on Enmore road only has seven tables. Lucky there’s a pretty large bar, seating up to ten people at one time. The kitchen is just as small as the front of house, with only three chefs and a total of ten restaurant staff. Naturally they can’t do a lot of things that large restaurants can. Which is rad.

sustainable restaurant

With only 7 tables, Osteria di Russo & Russo can do many things a large restaurant can’t, like offer a range of their own homemade soda

Like their business model, the menu is quite a bit different. With such a tiny kitchen classic A La Carte dining is rendered almost impossible. Rather, their ‘Chef’s Selection’, a 6 course shared degustation of cold and hot entree, starch, protein, cheese and dessert is priced to encourage it as the primary way to approach their food.

Chef Jason Saxby, winner of the prestigious Josephine Pignolet award and previously of Quay, Pilu and The Bridge Room, creates balanced dishes loosely inspired by Italian classics. Ingredients however, are as native as possible, and much of their food is foraged, picked by friendly locals, or grown in their own burgeoning garden. For example, we thought the recent Kangaroo Capriccio with wattle seed and fresh Australian Truffles was epic. Actually fit for a king.

This DIY authenticity runs through the restaurant structure. Rather then supporting Coca Cola Amatil the team spends a lot of time making an impressive range of tasty house sodas. When asked for “diet” versions you’ll be informed that none of their sodas contain added sugar, and indeed, why would they?

Even their gin is served with a house-made tonic and a naturally derived quinine. With its marble tables, family portraits, dark marbled bar, and the icing on the cake- actual vinyl played during service, Russo & Russo may actually be alternative-chic heaven. Although bookings are necessary, the Front of House team is as gorgeous as the food and will endeavour to work around your requirements.

With rumours that the father & son restaurant may well be the first sustainable venue to gain a hat (not that it wants or needs one) people shouldn’t overlook the small details. This is a genuine and authentic place, and a true representative of the Enmore community.

A small wine list of Italian only varietials force people to chat about viticulture, taste and wine. The produce, service and ambiance shines in the context of an almost-crowd-surfing model, without being as risky as somewhere more approachable like Lentil As Anything down the road. As a more upmarket place maintaining that rare feeling of community, hopefully the success of Osteria de Russo & Russo encourages others to take a more sustainable, smaller scale approach in hospitality, and wider industry at large.

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by Isaac Keatinge

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Map TEL | (02) 9519 9922