Debating ordering or heading out for dinner on a lazy Friday night, we opted to head down the road to Pinocchio’s for a quick and early meal. We had ordered a few times before, but have never been inside for dinner so wasn’t sure what to expect.
ATMOSPHERE & SERVICE
Living just on St. Kilda Road, I quite often walk by Pinocchio’s but have never been through the front door to experience the Italian vibe. With over 38 years in the business and two locations, we ventured over to the South Yarra location early on a Friday night, and walked through the wooden door to an empty restaurant. I wasn’t expecting it to be bustling so early in the evening, which gave us the chance to get a good look around before the space filled.
We were greeted by the owner with a warm smile who ushered us to our booth near the bar. We made it in time for Happy Hour (between 5pm-7pm) so ordered a round of drinks as soon as we sat down. The space is similar to that of Toorak Road, stylist, vibrate and full of life. We walked in to a beautiful featured bar area, white walls with artistic sketched Pinocchio drawings and a pizza eatery style fit out.
Behind the bar is the kitchen area, where you can get a glimpse of the fresh pizza and pasta’s being made. The restaurant has two entrances, the first is for take away pizzas and the second is for the restaurant.
The service throughout the night by all staff was friendly and for the most part quite attentive. Our waiter did forget about our second drink order, however was very apologetic and was quick to bring them over when we asked about them.
The menu here is quite extensive with a range of 27 different style pizzas plus pasta, risotto, meat and antipasto sharing dishes. Each dish is created using simple rustic Italian ingredients to stay true to its culture.
We started with the ‘Antipasto Misto’, which was a chef’s selection of Artisan made cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives and marinated vegetables. The selection was beautiful, however was a bit on the pricey side for what was actually given.
They also had a daily special on ‘Arancini’, which were beautifully crumbed. The flavour was simple, however the combination of the cheese and mayo were a classic mix.
For the pizza, we decided to go with 3 pizzas in the hopes that we would have left overs to bring home with us. We started with the ‘Tutto Carne’, which was San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, soppressa, San Daniele prosciutto and hot N’duja salami. This was the spiciest of the pizza’s we ordered with the N’duja salami giving the pizza a real kick.
The ‘Calabrese’ was a beautiful mix of San Maranzo tomato, fior di latte, soppressa salami, roasted red peppers, artichokes, olives and oregano. This is your typical traditional style pizza that we almost always get when we head of out pizza.
The last of our pizza’s was the ‘Rustica’, another classic pizza with San Marzano tomato, chilli & fennel sausage, fresh smoked buffalo mozzarella and roma tomatoes.
It was hard to decide which was our favourite pizza of the night. They all had beautiful fresh and simple ingredients that all worked well together. The crust was thin and crispy, exactly what you’d want to get the most out of the flavours on the pizza.
There was really nothing to fault here, everything from the service to the food were all excellent and looking forward to coming back again!