Pinocchio Pizza Restaurant
Since he purchased Pinocchio and brand rights three years ago, John Gdanski had always envisioned a shakeup. Together with his wife Gaby Tomkin and business partner Renato Chilelli, he initially started with the much-loved Pinocchio in Hampton and he has completely renovated the Toorak Road site in its likeness.
Gdanski’s first foray into the world of hospitality was Geppetto’s in Kew and Burwood, and the Pinocchio revamp had much to do with keeping a thread between the restaurants.
Gone is the cartoonish face of the little wooden boy, now replaced with vintage illustrations re-produced from a treasured book Gdanski was given when he was young. The fit-out itself is a loose tribute to Geppetto’s works, complete with wooden walls and tables, and pizzas served on mini ‘workbenches’ such as the cobbler himself would have worked on.
Authentic Italian is crucial to the restaurant’s success, and the team has strived to keep this going across the board.
Pizzas come in all guises and are created in a traditional Italian wood fire. In addition, pasta is made on site and the wine list is extensive. And for those after something a little fancier, there are some excellent mains including a 40-day aged porterhouse steak, or a lamb shoulder with artichoke puree.