For my husband’s birthday, I decided to treat the both of us to a degustation lunch, but without the stuffy formality that sometimes comes with a fine dining experience. I wanted a relaxed atmosphere, sea breezes, exceptional food… and my search lead me to Pilu at Freshwater – a Sardinian feast for all the senses.
Pilu is a homely restaurant that perches unassumingly on the foreshore overlooking Freshwater Beach, a half hour drive North of Sydney’s CBD.
The beach cottage is heritage listed and has been tastefully restored and decorated in a beautiful ‘Cape Cod’ style, which blends seamlessly into the surrounding seascape.
With a charming little manicured path that leads up to the entrance, you just know there isn’t going to be anything pretentious to come (phew!).
I don’t want to give the whole menu away, but here are my favourite savoury dishes from the seven course tasting menu we tried. The most delicious suckling pig dish was served up amongst a scrumptious medley of seafood. Oh just be aware that the saffron martini packs a real punch (just how I like it!).
The desserts were decadent, but light enough so as not to be overwhelmingly sickly-sweet (especially after multiple savoury courses). The cheese platter was unexpectedly simple, but the combination of honey, toasted cheese and fruit bread works wonders.
I find that after some degustations, the coffee can be a careless afterthought, however the single origin blend at Pilu’s had a great kick. A very appreciated finishing point… as was the birthday message on the dessert plate. Very thoughtful (almost as if I planned it for hubby myself… hmmm?).
Clusters of sea greens, blues, fresh whites and weathered woods created a beautiful seascape inside and added an effortless charm to the little cottage. Food was served out of simple, white crockery that had a nice twist with a crumpled paper-like porcelain effect.
Everything looked like it had it’s place and nothing looked contrived. The atmosphere was warm, cosy and intimate. Even with a packed restaurant.
Pilu has received two chef’s hats in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for consecutive years since they opened their doors. They have an a la carte menu to choose from as well as a seasonal five or seven course degustation menu with matching wines.
The service mirrored the relaxed surrounds and we found the staff very accommodating and attentive, but not fussy and intrusive (it’s a fine balancing act and not every restaurant gets it just right like Pilu does).
But if you’re after a quick taste of what they have to offer, then they have an adjoining Kiosk which is open from 7am daily for cakes, pastries etc aaaaaaaand their famous suckling pig sourdough panini!
Do yourself a favour and make a reservation for the next special occasion you have coming up. Or if long walks along the beach are your thing, then I can’t imagine anything more romantic than sand between toes, fresh sea breezes … and some suckling pig to snack on.