When Prince's and Romano's held sway during the golden age of Sydney restaurants last century, the central and upper slopes of Martin Place was the place to be seen. The city's newest restaurant is aiming to bring a little of that gloss back to the precinct.
"I was speaking to Barry Humphries about the great restaurants that used to be near here," says restaurateur Paola Toppi.
Her latest venture, Toppi Martin Place, swung open its doors on Thursday at Sixty Martin Place - the new development on the corner of Macquarie Street - with lawyers and merchant bankers in the building and NSW Parliament across the road.
Toppi Martin Place will also usher in some late-night action in the area. "The kitchen will close at 1am on busy nights," she says.
The Steel + Stitch interior is against the tide in Sydney's austere times of graffiti art and mix 'n' match.
"There's a lot of charcoal (colours) and wood … It's a bit masculine. I hate stark and I hate pastels, but it still has colour," she says.
The interior includes a wine wall and an elevated pasta bar.
Toppi, who also owns Bar M at Rushcutter's Bay, has an opening menu with Italian-accented dishes including duck ravioli, fresh burrata with ribbons of beetroot and spatchcock alla cacciatore.
Open Mon-Fri noon-late.
60 Martin Place, Sydney, toppi.com.au