Pilu at Freshwater
Pilu is one of the Northern Beaches’ great dining gems. Owner Giovanni Pilu put Freshwater on the culinary map in 2004 when he began serving Italian food inspired by his home, Sardinia.
The restaurant masquerades as a beach house on the rolling-green slope next to the beach, giving it one of the most enviable ocean views in Sydney.
Provenance is a key feature here. Suckling pig from the Hawkesbury, cherries from Snowgoose and house-made organic Sardinian semolina pasta feature in both the traditional à-la-carte menu and the Sardo menu, designed for whole tables to share.
Oven-roasted suckling pig for two has been a favourite since day one, and it’s still available on the Tradizionale menu, alongside crumbed hen egg with peas, black garlic, salted goat’s ricotta and bottarga; and wholemeal strozzapreti pasta with saffron-braised goat, goat’s curd and almonds.
But for a real taste of Saxby’s talents, head for the Innovativo menu for hiramasa kingfish cured with mirto, a Sardinian liqueur, and enhanced with beetroot, sheep’s yoghurt and juniper. Or maybe a pecorino consommé with macadamia and chives.
The dining room’s beachy feel is a timeless and subtle backdrop to the food and the view, making this a dining experience unique to the Northern Beaches of Sydney. And that’s without mentioning the vast, award-winning wine list, which represents every region of Italy.