The Salt Meats Cheese Group, owned by cousins Edoardo Perlo and Stefano de Blasi, has opened what is by far its largest restaurant, a 240-square metre space on the ground floor of the recently completed 17-storey Lighthouse by Meriton towers in Dee Why.

The northern beaches development, which features a piazza-style dining precinct, is tipped to become the area’s new central retail and food hub.

The new venue can seat up to 120 people. “Most of our venues can seat between 80 to 100 people, but this time we decided to go bigger because we’re often catering for large groups and birthday parties, especially on the weekends,” says de Blasi. “Going forward, all of our new venues will have over 100 seats.”

This is the sixth Salt Meats Cheese restaurant to open in NSW. The fifth opened in Cronulla in 2018, taking over a striking Art Deco Commonwealth Bank building. A rooftop bar is slated to open at their Circular Quay venue in the coming weeks.

The Dee Why space has been designed in collaboration with Decon, featuring plenty of natural light, whitewashed stone and terracotta tiles, echoing the coastal aesthetic of Liguria in northern Italy (also known as the Italian Rivera) where the cousins grew up.

While the traditional pizzas and pastas will still be available, de Blasi says the Dee Why menu will feature more share plates, which will soon be rolled out at all other Salt Meats Cheese restaurants.

There’s an antipasto platter with a selection of salumi, semi-hard cheeses, buffalo mozzarella, pickles and focaccia; burrata with basil and rocket pesto; and shaved prosciutto with baked peaches and a splash of pinot grigio.

These are ideal to graze on with a glass of wine or a cocktail. The succinct wine list offers a mix of Italian, Australian and New Zealand drops – some of which are biodynamic. For cocktails, choose from a handful of sours, spritzes or classics with an Italian twist, such as the Tiramisu Martini.

Salt Meats Cheese Dee Why
882A Pittwater Rd, Dee Why
(02) 90431458

Mon to Fri 11am–3pm, 5pm–9.30pm
Sat & Sun 11am–9.30pm

This article first appeared on Broadsheet on February 27, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.