The Strand Arcade in Sydney is probably the city's most beautiful place to shop. Built in 1891, it is a testament to Victorian grandeur and houses some of the country's finest and most exclusive shops. It is also home to the gorgeous La Rosa Bar and Pizza, a hidden gem of CBD dining.
On this particular Friday night, somewhere with great wine and a vibe worthy of a Friday night are musts, and La Rosa fits the bill perfectly. It is atmospheric and moody, with its dim lighting and romantic-looking aesthetic but it's not jam-packed full of try-hard bankers trying to buy girls like me a drink, which is a lovely relief. The fact that it is secluded means that inebriated street traffic is not a problem. Huzzah!
Darling Nicole has dined here before, and recommends everything! I look at the wine list, "shall we get a bottle?"... We do. An Italian Syrah, San Nicola, does the trick, its smooth yet powerful fingers massaging my throat as it slides down. I can taste notes of cherry, and berry and the memory of something that brings a smile to my lips.
Nicole insists we order the Crocchette di Patate. They are delightful, crunchy parcels of potato with an oozing Buffalo Mozarella centre and a lemon and garlic mayonnaise. As I write this, I want a batch. A fresh batch of happiness... Apparently happiness is a Whiskers cat, but I know it's Crocchette di Patate.
We order the Siciliana pizza: tomato, eggplant, roasted capsicum and artichoke. This is mighty fine pizza. The base is crispy and thin and not at all heavy or stodgy. With a base such as this, the emphasis is on the flavour of the toppings and how they dance with each other. These bad boys are dancing good. Real good.
The Citriolo e Schiacciatte is a little bowl of green utopia. It's cucumber and crushed green olives with pecorino and parsley. It is so fresh and brightens the carb loading from our other choices. I cannot say how much I love flat leaf parsley.
Sadly, we are too full for dessert, but they have potato doughnuts, which are meant to be rather spectacular so they shall be on the list for next time, as there will certainly be one.