It was a blustery day, where anyone would have preferred to stay indoors and hibernate - but in my world these are perfect conditions for an afternoon of Italiano and vino. Demos and I have been wanting to visit Pilu after sampling the oh so memorable suckling pig panini with apple and mustard at the Sydney Taste Festival earlier this year.
We were seated in the middle of the restaurant and even in the middle of winter the room gives that laid back beach house vibe. The dining experience was beautiful in every aspect at Pilu - the view itself was spectacular and so was the art that decorated all of the wall space. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon indeed.
The SMH Good Food Guide, aka The Bible, votes Pilu as having Sydney's best Wine List for 2010, rightly so because the wine menu read like a beautiful novel. The selection is varied and hosts a good bevy of Italian vino and some very nice Australian wines as well..I think it took as a god half hour to decide.
After pouring over the menu we decided that we should take the time to enjoy the afternoon and get a bottle of wine. We settled on a bottle of red the Dolianova Anzenas; - Cannonau di Sardegna. A fruity red wine from Sardinia, it was just perfect and its always a nice touch when the wine is served from a decanter. So having settled with a wine we moved on to attacking the menu. We decided on ordering the freshly made ricotta with truffle abbamele to start accompanied with the deboned quail and some fried seafood and zucchini flowers as entrees
The freshly made ricotta was amazing. It was very smooth and creamy and the truffle abbemele - a traditional sardinian honey was the perfect complement to the cheese and crispy fried Sicilian bread. Now truffle is something I would liken to crack. I would bathe in truffle honey given the opportunity. This dish ticked all the right boxes for me and I may or may not have savoured every last drop of that delicious abbemele and shooed Demos away when he tried to steal one of the olives. Pane e ricotta $14.00. The chef also sent out complimetary crunchy meatball dish, delish.
Our next entrees very beautiful to look at and to eat. Demos had the de-boned quail that was stuffed with chicken livers, potato, taragon, wrapped in pancetta and served on a bed of eggplant caponata. Quaglia ripiena di fegatini, patate e dragoncello $27 He didn't talk much as he was too busy dissecting the bird like a surgeon to eat. Being so close to the ocean, I had the lightly battered seafood selection with zucchini flower, claire de line oyster, squid and crystal bay prawns. Yet another amazing dish. The batter was not too heavy and the seafood tasted like the ocean. It was a very simple, light and elegant tasting dish. Piccolo fritto di fiore di zucca, gamberi e calamari con maionese $26
There wasn't much to think about when it came to mains. I wanted the slow roasted suckling pig. Simple as that. Demos decided to get the hanger steak. What a dish though. The suckling pig was arranged on a large plate beautifully. Served with small poached apples, pork sausage and of course the slow cooked suckling pig off the bone, it was a taste sensation. The crackling was crisp and the meat tender. The sausage was well seasoned and I wanted to smother everything with the brown bread sauce. Porcetto arrosto e salsiccia fatta da noi $43
The hanger steak that Demos ordered was just as enjoyable from Demos' accounts of the matter, he attacked it as soon as the dish landed on our table. The dish like the pork was beautifully presented. The steak was very tender and the herb crusted mushrooms melted in your mouth. The porcini cream dolloped on the plate had a silky consistency and you couldn't help but want to use your fingers to lap it all up in the absence of bread. Lombatello con fantasia di porcini e salsina al profumo di basilico $42
As you can see there wasn't much left. And yes, I saved the crackling til last - like it was an award I earned from all of today's eating
How could we say no to desert after such a wonderful lunch? Having room for it was not even the question. I decided to have the Sardinian fried pastry filled with ricotta and sultanas Seadas ripiena di ricotta con miele di tarasacco e melo $17.00 and Demos had the chocolate and hazelnut semifreddo with chocolate sorbet Semifreddo al cioccolato Amedei con sorbetto al cioccolato $17.00 The fried pastry gave me that sweet crisp I am always after, and covered in sweet ricotta made it heaven. The semifredo and sorbet didn't last that long in front of Demos, partly my fault because I couldn't help but keep picking at it as well.
With some coffees with liqueur and complimentary petit fours we finished our meal with that feeling of ultimate satisfaction and contentment. Demos tried the Caffè Corretto $6.00 An espresso with a dash of Varnelli Anice - a dry anise flavoured liqueur and I had the Caffè Sceccherato con Liquore $10.00 a cold coffee shaken with Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
P.S the fingers had to come out to finish the job in the end.
Until next time Pilu - thank you for feeding us!
Pilu at Freshwater
'On the Beach' Moore Road, Harbord NSW 2096 Telephone: (02) 9938 3331
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