Marco Ambrosino (former Fratelli Paradiso and 10 William St co-owner) and his business partner Manny Spinola (Grand Pacific Group) are transitioning Lola’s Level 1 to a modern Italian food direction, with the menu led by Head Chef Toby Stansfield. Now Lola’s Italian and Bar, the refined yet welcoming venue, will be Bondi’s local pasta house serving fun and elegant Italian classics along with a provocatively curated wine and cocktail list.
Nestled above Pacific Bondi Beach (think courtyard entrance shared with QT Bondi and Koda Cutters), the venue is inviting and relaxed. Guests can have a seat at the marble bar for a quick drink and snack, in the dining room or the terrazzo for a meal, or even a game of foosball with an icy cold Ichnus a Non-Filtrata lager, all with a vantage point of beautiful Bondi Beach.
It was a natural decision to switch the food brief from the Mediterranean to 100% traditional Italian, paying homage to Marco’s cultural heritage and passion. Along with over 30 years’ experience catalysing from being surrounded by and working with Italian food and produce, having grown up with his parents (father from Procida, Napoli and mother from Genoa City), who were both in the fresh produce business from the late 50s until the late 90s. With ‘Lola’ being the name of Marco’s daughter, the transition and re-brand to 100% Italian brings together a sense of familiarity and the good nature of family values to their overall ethos.
Marco Ambrosino adds, “At Lola’s Italian and Bar I am doing what comes naturally and uninhibited to me, that is, being generous and genuine to anyone that walks through the doors of my current eating and drinking home. I have built my reputation on guest focus and good nature. I will always be grateful and gracious that I am still able to offer my hospitality to others. When you walk into Lola’s no one will feel out of place, you will be made to feel local, regular and our welcome guest for that time. I am looking to ensure we also offer simple, elegant, and generous food that comforts in its familiarity. I am proud to be in Bondi amongst some of the finest food and beverage peers such as Icebergs, Seans and Da Orazio. Lola’s only adds another layer to the exceptional dining we now have in Bondi.”
Manny Spinola also notes, “We hope for Lola’s to become an iconic Bondi classic Italian restaurant, adding to the vibrant tapestry of Bondi’s dining scene. Lola’s is for the locals, with a spirit of generosity, integrity at its core and off course delicious food and vino.”
Lola’s Italian and Bar is supported by a carefully selected group of individuals with expertise spanning across food, wine and hospitality. Head Chef Toby Stansfield is one of the rising stars of Sydney’s kitchens and was recruited to lead the food menu bringing his fresh approach and experience into the fold. With stints as Head Chef of Fabbrica (Ragazzi Group), Yellow, Monopole, and most recently the Old Fitzroy Hotel (Odd Culture Group), Toby is now ready to shift back into the restaurant scene.
On his experience and joining Lola’s Italian and Bar, Head Chef Toby Stansfield notes “After working in higher end restaurants I had an itch to do something different, which lead me to help open Fabbrica pasta shop with the Love Tilly Devine group. Working there gave me fresh pasta experience and an insight to some fun Australian / Italian cuisine. I helped open their wholesale wing, making fresh pasta for some of Sydney’s best restaurants and eateries. After my time at Fabbrica, I had an opportunity to try my hand at pub style food with the Old Fitzroy Hotel – where I started to play around with some Italian cuisine. I found myself speaking with the Lola’s team , and a position came up which got me interested. Lola’s is a great place for people to have a chill drink or snack, have a full dinner or just catch up with friends. This general vibe really excited me and drew me in as something I could really sink my teeth into, as the team decided to make the change to Italian cuisine. The experience and atmosphere cultivated by the team lead by Mon and Marco is electric to say the least.”
He is passionate to execute the food direction alongside Marco and bring the new venue to life through the simple intricacies of modern Italian food. All dishes are made from the heart with genuine intentions while also showcasing high quality ingredients. On the direction of the food menu, Toby states “The direction I want to take the food is trying to start with great produce found all around Sydney and NSW. I want the items we are using to be top quality, fresh, vibrant, and flavourful without too much work. In my eyes, Italian food is simple because of the quality of goods, not needing much done with it so it can shine. This is the ethos I want to introduce to Lola’s, a stripped back food offering that lets simple stunning ingredients do all the talking.”
Key menu highlights include the Semolina Spaghetti with vongole and ‘nduja, King Prawn Risotto, Vitello Tonnato, Octopus ‘alla amatriciana’ and classic Cotoletta Milanese. The venue will also be offering a ‘Pranzo Pronto’ Three-Course Launch Lunch Special for $49 per person from Friday to Sunday between 12pm and 4pm.
Front of house is led by Manager and Sommelier, Mon Ditbunjong. Hailing from Melbourne, he has years of experience in restaurants and bars including Ragazzi, Dear Saint Eloise, Gertrude St Enoteca, Gerald’s Bar and Cumulus Inc.
The wine and beverage offering is constantly evolving with a strong focus on the Italian and the Italian – esque, from small, high quality winemakers. Whether it’s a crisp Pinot Grigio, a bottle of Barolo, a salty Sardinian Vermentino or a dry French Rose, there’s a delicious wine for everyone. On the other hand, and if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, the Little Italy, Negroni Confusi and classic Spicy Coconut Margarita are crowd favourites.
Marco’s wife and contemporary artist, Pina Ambrosino, is incorporated into Lola’s Italian and Bar through her creative work; wall art, murals and ceramics laced around the venue. Her pieces compliment the restaurant’s physical styling, which was curated by the Lola’s Italian and Bar team, and project managed by H&E Architects to execute their vision.
Lola’s Italian and Bar
Level 1/180-186 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
T: +61 2 9085 5888 | E: email@example.com | Book Online | What’s On
Dinner – Daily from 5pm until late
Lunch and Dinner – Friday to Sunday from 12pm until late