Ombra is both a grown-up wine bar and a casual, relaxed restaurant – sort of the fun, younger sibling of the other Grossi establishments – and in fact it is managed by Guy Grossi’s son Carlo. The narrow downstairs area is dim and clubby, with high tables and stools framed by walls of wine bottles and jars of homemade pickles – a perfect space for imbibing and chatting conspiratorially. Upstairs is more of a sit-down affair, with the prime position being the large table by the window overlooking leafy Bourke Street.
The menu is tightly written – antipasti/cicchetti, salads, salumi, condimenti (pickles), pizza, cheese and dessert all on one sheet.
Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight. ‘Salumi’ is salted and cured meats vs ‘Salami’ which are dry cured susages. Ombra specialises in salumi which includes familiar cured meats like pancetta, proscuitto and salami as well as less familiar items like felini and ventricina bucia culo. Either way it’s not really somewhere I recommend taking vegetarians and I went with fellow omnivore Gourmet Chick.