Graffiti Ristorante
ArtHouse Hotel
Pitt St. Sydney CBD

Graffiti Ristorante is the reincarnation of what was previously Dome Restaurant on the top level of the ArtHouse Hotel in Sydney. This place is a beautiful institution that is well known. It's in a lovely building with high domed ceilings, artwork adorning the wall (not surprisingly), a huge wooden bar and fireplaces and long tables giving it a lovely atmosphere reminiscent of a bygone era.

We were there for a big function to launch Graffiti Ristorante, see the venue (again in our case) and taste the food they now have available as part of the transformation into an Italian restaurant. We chatted with Ben McBeath, General Manager of the ArtHouse who explained the changes and their focus on good quality fresh Italian fare at reasonable prices that can be served promptly at lunch or a bit more leisurely later on in the day.

Of course with Italian food having so many starter options Graffiti Ristorante has a wealth of choices. We started with grissini wrapped in Parma ham. It was an extremely simple nibble that tasted great. We then moved on to arancini balls which were quite large with good flavours again. Throw in a glass or three of Merlot and the music of an Italian band and it was a really nice start.

Next to arrive were platters of huge stuffed zucchini flowers. These were the biggest ones we've ever seen - so there was certainly no shortage of filling in them! Fortunately the batter was not overdone in quantity either.

Then the platters of bruschetta al pomodoro with crisp bread covered with juicy tomatoes, Spanish onion and fresh basil arrived - and this is always a winner!

Of course with a name like The ArtHouse Hotel you'd expect it to be an arty place - and you'd be right. They have all manner of art based activities and events here - as well as a huge range of other things too. For the opening there was even an art war battle between two artists which attracted plenty of attention.

But back to the food.

This was probably the dish of the night for me - the linguine with Hawkesbury calamari, chilli, garlic and chives. It was such a simple dish but had such great flavours - I just loved it.  

Not that far behind it was the pasta with braised pork rib ragu. The pasta was of course al dente but the topping had such a full rich flavour.

They also have a small but tasty range of pizzas here as well.

On our visit we tried the margarita topped with tomato, buffalo milk mozzarella and oregano. It's a simple pizza that's always popular and one that we order more often than not.

The other pizza options were also good as well - there were several choices available.

The ArtHouse Hotel - or more precisely Graffiti Ristorante - is such a lovely room with so much charm and atmosphere and a really pleasant place to sit back and enjoy fresh tasty Italian fare.

Sir and Mlady were invited to the launch by The ArtHouse. Special thanks to Ben McBeath and also to Lisa Walker for arranging our visit.

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