Pilloni is an ode to Sardinia and its love for charcoal cooking. Co-owners and partners Andrea Contin (who was born on the Italian island) and Valentina Vigni travelled there to research for this restaurant. Today, it serves up traditional woodfire dishes in a beautiful space that’s decorated with mementos from that very trip.
The menu might highlight produce like Tasmanian lobster, lamb neck and kingfish, all cooked over the woodfired grill and served without a lot of fuss. The lobster, for example, might come with tomato, red onion, lemon and parsley.
Another menu highlight might be the porceddu, a quartered and spit-roasted suckling pig with ultra-crisp crackling. It serves about four people, and the team needs 24 hours’ notice to prepare it.
You’ll also find regional pastas, which may include: culurgiones (filled with potato, pecorino and mint) with tomato sauce; spaghetti with clams and bottarga (dried mullet row); and malloreddus (small, gnocchi-shaped shells) with lamb-shoulder ragu and pecorino.
The wine list features drops from around the Mediterranean alongside natural wines from Contin’s wine distribution business, Sat Artisan Wines. And, of course, there are a few Sardinian varietals like vermentino and the harder-to-find cannonau and granazza.
Pilloni’s space is fitted out with a Sardinian marble bar, a dining room with views of the kitchen, a curtained terrace with neutral tiled floors, and a private wine room. The walls are decorated with handmade mamuthones – traditional wooden masks that were worn in carnivals in the small town of Mamoiada, dating back 2000 years. Contin and Vigni bought them during a trip to Sardinia, along with the many paintings and cork bowls that also decorate the space.
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