So the opening of new Rushcutters Bay eatery Bar Machiavelli is perfectly timed. Housed in an historic tyre factory site on Neild Avenue, the sprawling space - think exposed brick walls and cathedral ceilings - has been given an atmospheric facelift, with a golden central bar and ever-changing projections of iconic Italian imagery (yes, you could find yourself dining with an oversized Sophia Loren).
A glass pasta room showcases the fresh spaghetti, fettuccini, rigatoni and gnocchi made on site, best enjoyed with Italian snacks and huge selection of antipasti also on the menu. It's all the work of Paola Toppi, who created the original Machivelli that's kept CBD workers well-fed for years.
Matteo Belkeziz, who's worked behind the bar at Palmer & Co. and Rockpool Bar & Grill, is manning the drinks list, which includes his twist on classic Mediterranean cocktails. Try the barrel-aged Negroni with grappa or the bellini of the month.
Bar Machiavelli, 10 Neild Ave, Rushcutters Bay, NSW.