Pellegrino 2000 is an Italian neighbourhood trattoria and bar on the corner of Campbell and Foster Street in Surry Hills, located where Bar H used to be. It's a warmly lit restaurant complemented by warm, friendly service. The menu has spins on traditional Italian food and is said to be inspired by classic trattorias of Rome and Florence.
Mr NQN and I were having a staycation at the nearby 202 Elizabeth Hotel and were on the lookout for dog friendly options and Pellegrino 2000 was literally a 2 minute walk away around the corner from the hotel. While people have lamented trying to get a booking there are plenty of us that come by without a booking this evening and take a perch on a bar stool or at one of the outdoor tables.
The team behind Pellegrino 2000 is Bistrot 916's Dan Pepperell, Mikey Clift and Andy Tyson. Service from the mostly Italian and all male waitstaff is very friendly and personable. Nothing is ever a problem and they are happy to recommend dishes.
We start with some focaccia and Dear Reader if you ever come and eat here so should you (look at how pushy I am). It comes as two pieces of puffy, soft focaccia with extra virgin olive oil and the dreamiest truffle butter. One of the advantages of having a husband who pretends to be gluten intolerant (he isn't, he wolfs down pasta) is that I get both of the pieces of focaccia and all of the truffle butter to myself. Yes that is me, I'm the problem it's me.
This comes with the culatta e melone. Culatta is like culatello except that when it is cured they leave the rind on. The result is similar to prosciutto but a more luxe version as it is softer in texture. Melons are so sweet at the moment and this has a sweet and salty hit.
I can't resist the Suppli or arancini rice balls-the name telefono is given to it as when you pull it apart the cheese stretches like a telephone line. These are topped with anchovies and are soft when pulled apart and lightly crunchy with breadcrumbs on the outside.
It's a rainy evening and the umbrellas do the job to protext against a light drizzle but once the preciptation becomes heavier, the good natured staff spring into action and move us to the bar seating. Then once the rain eases up we move back to the table which they have dried and re-set. I'm not sure if moving the tables threw a spanner into the works but the wait between entrees and main is almost an hour.
I was tossing up between the prawn ravioli and the rabbit ragu in lumache and the waiter recommends the latter. The rabbit ragu snuggles into the crevices of the lumache or snail pasta helped along with a lightly buttery sauce and on top are torn sage leaves. It's a very good main although I do almost wish we had also ordered the prawn ravioli. FOMO is a real thing.
The spinach ripassati is basically sauteed spinach with slices of chilli. Our waiter had recommended it as a side to the pasta and it's a solid recommendation. The spinach is soft and moreish and I end up polishing off most of this.
While many of the dessert options look worth exploring I only a have eyes for the crema caramello. It comes in two parts: first a tower of fresh banana whipped cream and then a crème caramel. Mr NQN thinks that we have ordered two desserts and is quite happily hoeing into the mountain of banana whipped cream by itself before I explain that they are to be eaten together. The caramel for the crème caramel is taken quite dark with a light bitterness to it and the fluffy, white banana flavoured whipped cream goes perfectly with it (aim for a 50/50 ratio of both).
So tell me Dear Reader, do you always try to make a reservation when you eat out or do you sometimes turn up without one? Do you get food FOMO?
This meal was indenpendently paid for.
80 Campbell St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone: (02) 8593 0114
Hours: Monday to Thursday 5–11 pm
Friday and Saturday 12–3 pm, 5–11:30 pm
Sunday 5–10 pm