We arrived in Sydney in the late afternoon of Sunday, April 3rd, spontaneously went out for a fantastic steak dinner at ‘Darling Harbour’ with view of water and boats, and then back to our hotel (Travelodge Sydney). The next day, April 4, was my birthday and it was sunny and beautiful. We spent it walking to and around downtown, exploring all the fantastic attractions like the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, taking the ferry across the stunning Sydney Bay to Manly Beach, exploring the Botanical Garden and just having a great time being tourists.
On the ferry ride back downtown the sky started getting darker and darker, and we barely made it back to the hotel before getting soaked. It turned out we were really lucky with our sunny day because it didn’t stop raining for days. For my birthday dinner we picked an Italian Trattoria that had gotten relatively good reviews at a yelp-like Australian website and after looking at the map it turned out the restaurant was walking distance from our hotel. What a coincidence, Sydney is big and we were prepared to take a cab.
We walked over in about 10 minutes, luckily it was only drizzling lightly, and arrived in what I can only describe as the VERY BEST Italian restaurant I have ever experienced outside Italy. The decor was just beautiful, simple dark wood and lots of photographs of Milano and other Italian places. We were greeted with a complimentary glass of Prosecco (Jonathan had thoughtfully called ahead to make a reservation and had mentioned my birthday) and that alone made my day. The service was fantastic, friendly and amazingly accommodating, and the food was simply delicious. We could not decide between the appetizers – I am not exaggerating when I say every single item was one of my favorite Italian foods – and the lovely owner brought us a little bit of everything. Oh my goodness, soooo good! The evening went on just as wonderful, Jon and I having a fabulous time, enjoying the food and slowly getting buzzed by Prosecco and wine. We hardly touched our main dishes because we just could not fit any more food into our bellies and struggled to resist the Tiramisu temptation by ordering yummy chocolatey cocktails for dessert. Well, the owner brought us Tiramisu anyway (on the house again) and it was the best I have ever had. Man, I wish I had had more space in my stomach but I literally had to give up after two spoonfuls, so sad.
On the way back we made up a 100th of our calories by sprinting from roof to roof in the pouring rain but had a great time anyways. We passed out into a good night’s sleep and this was probably one of my favorite birthdays ever. 🙂