Woy Woy has welcomed its first pasta bar and it’s the brainchild of two fresh-faced locals in their early twenties.
It’s aptly named Young Barons because that’s exactly what 23-year-olds Bryce Gleeson and Dannielle Mills are.
The Coastie couple, who met and fell in love at Bells, seem wise beyond their years and have packed a lot into their young lives.
Chef Dannielle trained under Stefano Manfredi at Bells at Killcare, worked at Sydney’s Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay and studied Egyptian pastries and cakes at Pioik Bakery under Shady Wasef.
Bartender Bryce also started his hospitality career at Bells where he learnt all things wine from Adam Lambeth from Est., as well as doing a stint at the Boathouse and Bar Toto in Ettalong.
Officially opening its doors this week, Young Barons offers a new, hip hangout for the people of the Peninsula as well as another local option for relaxed dining.
With seating for 30, the pasta bar, which is located opposite Woy Woy Woolies, offers an intimate space and when it’s packed, feels cosy and buzzy.
Somehow amongst all her chef experience Dannielle found time to do a design course, which is reflected in the modern and contemporary set up.
A few bar stools offer people watching opportunities, while sleek black tables populate the polished wooden floorboards and a mirror runs the length of the wall. Art has been donated by friends and family.
Like Bombini, another Central Coast restaurant that was born out of Bells, the food is rustic and delicious Italian with a focus on quality, seasonal ingredients.
Entrees include beautiful cured meats, Buffalo mozzarella and a couple of surprisingly tasty ham hock fritters.
The pasta, all made in house, is cooked to perfection whether it’s a mouth-watering veal and pork ragu served with rigatoni and a smattering of grana padano or spaghetti with prawns, chilli, cavolo nero and lemon bread crumbs.
Supporting local business, the prawns have been supplied by Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf up the road, while the floral flourishes are courtesy of Salmon & Co at Ettalong.
After running the pastry section at Bells and learning about Egyptian cakes at Pioik Bakery, there are high expectations for Dannielle’s dessert.
Neither the rich chocolate cake with whisky caramel and housemade banana gelato nor the moist almond tart with sticky rhubarb and zesty raspberry gelato, disappoint.
Young Barons will open for wine and pasta from 5pm Tuesday to Thursday and for lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday (12pm-10pm).
Coastal Chic Tip: Book ahead!