Farewell to The Amalfi Way as Il Pontile takes over in Woolloomooloo

The sunny, open-air setting at Woolloomooloo during its Amalfi Way days.
The sunny, open-air setting at Woolloomooloo during its Amalfi Way days. Photo: James Brickwood

As Sydney slowly reboots after lockdown slumber, a mounting number of restaurants have  decided to call it a day, including one of the most ambitious and upmarket eateries on Woolloomooloo Wharf.

With its splashy $350 Italian caviar on oysters and $170 wood-fired lobster, The Amalfi Way fronted on the showy waterside strip with the sort of luxe items and price tags you might expect on a holiday in Positano.

The restaurant was a big step up for its operator Luigi Esposito, who has long been rated among Sydney's best pizzaioli at his Via Napoli empire.

Il Pontile opened in the former Amalfi Way digs on the weekend.
Il Pontile opened in the former Amalfi Way digs on the weekend. Photo: Dexter Kim

If opening during a pandemic wasn't challenge enough, The Amalfi Way wedged itself next to high-end Italian Otto Ristorante and seafood specialist Manta.

Tough turf, a challenge that hasn't stopped another restaurant stepping up in the space. Il Pontile opened in the former Amalfi Way digs on the weekend, with a familiar face in its kitchen.

Mario Percuoco, the Naples-born chef who previously operated Acqua Pazza in the city and had a spell cooking in Avalon, is the chef at Il Pontile.

Nido di melanzane alla parmigiana from Il Pontile.
Nido di melanzane alla parmigiana from Il Pontile. Photo: Dexter Kim

The Graaf Group-backed restaurant has given the wharfside space another makeover, with a "glass cellar", chandeliers and a VIP dining room.