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A native of Napoli, Giuseppe Costagliola arrived in Sydney back in 2019 and was on the hunt for a space to open his first Sydney venue, another version of signature restaurant "Pino in Duomo" in Milan. Pino also has venues in Naples and Ibiza.

Signing a lease on the old Bally store opposite Tiffany & Co on King Street in the CBD and due to open in May 2020, the covid outbreak was set to throw Giuseppe's plans into disarray.

As luck would have it, during this time the Woolloomooloo site became available and in October 2022 when Covid restrictions were lifted, Il Pontile was opened with head chef Mario Percuoco.

The Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf is arguably a dream location for both restauranteurs and diners alike, and Il Pontile serves up rustic seafood-focused Italian food with sophisticated elements that perfectly suits Sydney waterside dining.

The decor is elegant but in no way ostentatious, the subtly lit glass wine cellar is no doubt the intended feature of the interior. The phenomenal combination of food, decor and location makes Il Pontile a versatile venue which is perfect for your next girl's lunch, date night or work dinner.

Sit outside with the familiar but ever spectacular Sydney skyline in view, sip on cocktails like the Very Sexy Martini (Ketel one vodka, raspberry, mint, lime juice, sparkling rosé) and kick-off your dining experience with a plate of oysters with vinaigrette. Then follow it up with the Ricciola, the very instagrammable kingfish crudo with citrus fruits dressing and tobiko, and the creamy burrata with peaches and hazelnuts.

The "Paccheri alla Sorrentina" which is large tubes of pasta with grape tomatoes and a smokey buffalo mozzarella has to be the culinary definition of Italian simplicity. Perfectly cooked al-dente in rich tomato sauce, the hint of smokiness elevates this uncomplicated dish. Paired with a bottle of the Tenuta Orsumella "Chianti Classico" DOCG 2017, a light and smooth Tuscan red that won't break the budget, although there are more lavish bottles in the cellar if that is more your style.

For the main, if it's available, opt for the special ribeye with green beans which was chargrilled on top and cooked to medium rare perfection inside, with the crispy rosemary potatoes on the side.

I was desperate to try head chef Mario Percuoco's special Linguine al Cartoccio, which is linguine baked in a parcel with mixed seafood (to share) but as I was dining with someone who doesn't eat seafood I'll definitely save that for next time!

For dessert can you even go to an Italian restaurant and not try their tiramisu? And to finish, a shot (or two) of limoncello. Delizioso!

For more information or to book online, check out Il Pontile. You'll also be able to experience Pino on King Street in the CBD after it opens in September 2022.

WORDS | Emma Douglass



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