Tucked away on Birdwood Lane, this hole-in-the-wall wine bar
and restaurant offers sophisticated dining and a chic bar experience, all
brought to life by a stellar team.
Little Red Robin
Restaurant is an intimate bar and dining destination, boasting a carefully
considered menu of sharing plates, served on eclectic and handmade stoneware,
accompanied by a 100+ strong wine list exclusively from Europe and the
Owners Alessandro Nelli and Michelle Warren started working
on the vision 4 years ago and always imagined Little Red Robin as taking
inspiration from the Mediterranean, with a focus on reimagining classic recipes
with a contemporary twist, and the wine list was always going to be purely
European to bring a point of difference and take customers out of their wine
The stellar team at Little Red Robin are well-oiled
professionals for their young ages, having a wide range of experience from
leading award-winning establishments both in Australia and abroad.
At the helm of the kitchen is Head Chef Alberto Ranalli, whose
résumé lists experience at est. Sydney and establishments in London and
Bologna. Sous Chef Douglas Alvarenga gained his stripes from Flavio Federico in
Brazil, then at Gelato Messina Creative Department and, more recently, the
acclaimed Porteño. As CDP, Francesco Lunardi developed his key skills at Quay
and The Bridge Room.
Running the bar and designing cocktails is a breeze for Kyal
Whitehorn. Kyal has gained a solid foundation in bar management at Chatswood
Golf Club and has recently completed more studies in mixology. Alessandro
Nelli, as owner and manager, started as a runner over 20 years ago and worked
up to managing the award-winning institution Lucio’s in Paddington, and learnt
his fine dining, polished service style from Lucio Galletto himself, before
taking the plunge into restaurant ownership.
“These up-and-coming young professionals took a leap of
faith to join Little Red Robin,” says Alessandro. “They saw a vision they liked
and ‘had a feeling’ about the establishment where they felt they could
contribute in a creative way and be a part of something unique.”
The menu offers dishes with delicate flavours, where the
produce has the opportunity to shine and the suppliers, who are carefully
chosen, are leaders in their own game. The menu is built around a sharing
concept, where diners can try different dishes and flavours. The wine selection
is all about allowing patrons to discover something new and unique, with some
gems from Turkey, Greece, Austria and more featuring on the list.
For owner and manager Nelli, who grew up on a vineyard and
olive grove in Tuscany, the restaurant embodies important memories from his
home in Italy. “Our fondest memories are of little red robins singing and
darting among the vines in the warm Tuscan afternoon sun, when days were filled
with delicious food, luscious wine and laughter,” he says. “This is how we came
up with the name”.
When looking for a site, Nelli and Warren identified Lane
Cove as an upcoming foodie area with lots of potential and loved the village
atmosphere. The restaurant sits opposite the future development the Rosenthal
Project (The Canopy Lane Cove), due for completion in 2020.
It’s easy to feel transported somewhere like Melbourne or
even New York with the establishment’s edgy, sophisticated interiors. With a
focus on textures, rich fabrics and strong contemporary colours, matching
stoneware (with the main sharing plate exclusively designed and handmade by Ion
Fukazawa of Mukumono, who also collaborated with the likes of ester and
sixpenny), and the stunning full copper bar as the pièce de résistance of the
space, diners can either dine at the bar or in the intimate dining room.
Little Red Robin Restaurant & Wine Bar
Address: 4/85 Longueville Road, Entry Via Birdwood Lane,
Lane Cove NSW 2066
Hours: Tuesday: 4pm–midnight; Wednesday to Saturday:
or phone (02) 9418 9529.