Most top Australian restaurants hang their reputations on seasonal, hyperlocal offerings. But few of them live it quite like Pipit. Positioned halfway between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, its Northern Rivers location ensures access to some of the country’s finest produce, which owners Yen Trinh and chef Ben Devlin (Esquire, Noma) celebrate with a simple but powerful philosophy: “What grows together, goes together”

Spanning woodfired and raw dishes, Pipit’s eight-course degustation is an elegant showcase of the region’s farmers and growers – most within 15 minutes’ drive of the restaurant. Sustainably caught seafood is a major focus, and the team eschews the use of farmed red meat altogether. It will, however, cook with poultry, wild game and animals deemed pests, such as a kangaroo, venison and wild boar. Pipit also serves an exemplary vegan set menu.

The drinks list emphasises small and local, with a good showing of Northern Rivers breweries and distilleries. The wine list is heavy on New South Wales drops, and there’s a selection of house-made digestifs infused with locally grown fruit. Think nectarine vermouth, guava and apple limoncello, and bunya nut and macadamia liqueur.

From the 10 counter seats wrapping around the open kitchen, diners can watch the team prepare wild foraged plants, tend to the library of house ferments, and brace against the occasional flame jumping from the central woodfire grill. But no matter where you sit in Pipit’s relaxed dining room, the intimate design by Whitewood Agency means everyone gets a piece of the action.

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Updated: December 15th, 2022

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