Imagine a moody dining room, walls thick with graffiti, burning candles and Italo beats from Roman artists pumping through the speakers. This is Cicerone, an unpretentious Italian joint that serves the kind of food you might find in a postcard-worthy trattoria in Rome.
Cicerone was opened in 2021 by co-owners Isabella Daniali and Rome-born chef Stefano De Caro in the old Maybe Frank space. † The name makes sense: the menu here is De Caro’s way of showcasing the nostalgic dishes he grew up with to Sydney eaters.
You could start with some antipasti and pane di casa served with truffle and honey butter. Follow with handmade pastas like the Roman classic tonnarelli carbonara with guanciale, pecorino, egg yolk, and cracked pepper; and the pasta of the moment, rigatoni alla vodka.
But central to the menu are the Roman-style light pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. Styles include the diavola, with spicy salami, tomato, mozzarella, whole milk ricotta and basil; and a Margherita. To finish, the salted caramel and chocolate tiramisu is enriched with almond liqueur and gelato with cream.
The wine list favors mostly Italian drops, with plenty of New World styles provided by Giorgio de Maria Fun Wines.