When Merivale snapped up Rozelle's 3 Weeds earlier this year, locals were licking their lips with news an inner-west Totti's could open by December.
With that now pushed back to next year, former Weeds chef Darrell Felstead has stolen a march near his old digs, opening Rita's at the redeveloped Cat and Fiddle Hotel.
"The feedback from locals has been great," he says of the first few days trade.
Felstead (Prime, Foveaux) never produces a boring menu: even Rita's simple opening menu shows signs of his days as a high-end deg chef.
The pork liver parfait is matched with his blood orange powder, pizza Felstead-style might be topped with zucchini flower and sumac, while his interpretation of spag bol is served with udon.
Even the kids' menu offers beef brisket, sweet corn and smoked tomato sauce.