Zoccali’s Pendolino and L’Olioteca

Often you go to an Italian restaurant expecting the fundamentals; a flavoursome meal, nice decor, polite wait staff. That is, unless you’re visiting newcomer Pendolino.

The brainchild of chef, restaurateur and olive oil advocate Nino Zoccali (former founding chef of Otto Ristorante and Pizzeria Nove), this foodie trifecta includes an upmarket Italian restaurant ‘The Restaurant Pendolino’, a café and wine bar ‘Caffe Pendolino’, and a specialty olive oil gift store ‘L’Olioteca’.

Once you get past the retail temptation as you make your way up to the second floor in The Strand, you’ll be welcomed with dark woods and the decidedly sophisticated feel from an interior designed by architect Dominic Alvaro (principal architect on the Ivy Hotel development).

You’ll only have to wait until Monday, 17 March for your first espresso from the Caffe, when L’Olioteca also opens its doors. The restaurant, specialising in regionally-inspired Italian cuisine (think pastas made fresh on the premises) opens on Tuesday 25 March.

L’Olioteca, meaning oil shop, offers a range of world-class Australian and Italian extra-virgin olive oils and fine food gifts. You can choose between premium hand-selected Collezione L’Olioteca oils – in lemon, blood orange, fruity robust or dolce flavours – hand-poured in either a 500ml or 1L recyclable amber bottle.

If you want more choice there’s a large range of boutique Australian (some from groves such as Cradle Coast, where there are less than 500 trees and only a few dozen cases a season) and Italian extra-virgin olive oils.

Nino is a connoisseur of premium olive oils, and will insist on its importance. Meet him or his team and you’ll be easily enthused by their passion for teaching others about choosing quality oil and the role it plays in cooking. A few minutes with them in L’Olioteca and you’ll walk away thinking about food in a whole new way.

Shop 100, Level Two, The Strand Arcade, 412-414 George Street, Sydney (02) 9231 6118


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