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bel mondo

Contact Information
3rd floor in the Argyle Department Store, 18-24 Argyle St., The Rocks  Phone 02/9241 3700

Cuisine Type: Northern Italian   Reservations recommended well in advance  Transportation: CityRail, bus, or ferry: Circular Quay.  Prices: Main courses A$33-$39 (U.S.$23.10-$27.30). 10% surcharge Sun and public holidays.  Hours: Mon-Fri noon-2:30pm; Mon-Thurs 6:30-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 6:30-11pm, Sun 6:30-10pm.  Credit Cards: AE, BC, DC, MC, V

With its uncomplicated northern Italian cuisine, bel mondo has deservedly positioned itself alongside the very best of Sydney's upscale restaurants. At this family-run affair, chef Stefano Manfredi is helped out in the kitchen by his mum, Franca, a pasta diva in her own right. The restaurant is large and long with high ceilings, and the energetic pace and the banging and clashing coming from the open kitchen give the place a New York feel. Standout appetizers include grilled sea scallops with soft polenta and pesto. Favorite main courses include roast suckling pig cutlets with beans and olives, and roast pigeon with Italian couscous and potato. The wine list is very extensive. bet mondo's Antibar is cheaper and more relaxed; it offers a good selection of antipasto and lighter meals and features jazz on Friday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

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