The smell of burning wood fills the nostrils when you enter Puntino. Don’t panic, the place isn’t about to burn down, it is their wood-fire oven roaring away full speed.
A lovely light and airy feeling restaurant, due to the wooden floors, white walls and wooden tables. The large glass windows opening up onto a court yard, at the back of the restaurant, also aid that feeling. There is a slant of quirkiness too with the home-made jam jar lights hanging from the ceiling.
The lighting may be quirky, but there is nothing quirky about the food. Chef Antonio Sabia has been serving traditional Italian food to Sydneysiders for 12 years. Is an advocate of rustic, home-made food from his home town of Basilicata in Italy. Tony makes good use of the oven, not only is it used for their pizzas, but also other various dishes on the menu.
Cacio di Cavallo ($16.90), smoked provolone baked in the wood-fire oven, served with shaved black truffles. With the risk of burning yourself on molten cheese, get into this dish while it is hot. Dip the schiacciata (hand pressed wood-fired bread) which is served along-side in to the truffled cheesy goodness.
Calamari al Forno ($16.90), calamari marinated in garlic and lemon, baked in the wood-fired oven and served on dressed rocket. I am surprised and delighted to find that the lemon and garlic have also been wood-fired along with the calamari. The calamari is tender and the charred lemon adds something a little extra to make this dish unique.
Calzone ai Formaggi ($10.00), wood-fired pizza folded over with mozzarella, parmesan and garlic. A nice alternative to garlic bread.
Funghi Misti al Forno ($12.90), a medley of seasonal mushrooms baked in the wood-fired oven with fresh herbs and olive oil (normally served on rocket and shaved parmesan). I was looking forward to this dish as I had already spotted the range of mushrooms when I first walk in. Not disappointed, with a lovely range of mushrooms straight from the wood-fired oven. A dish I will go back for.
Gnocchi Sorrentino ($19.90), potato gnocchi cooked in a light napolitana sauce, served with slices of buffalo mozzarella and basil. The gnocchi is soft and fluffy, the sauce is very basic.
Mozzarella Degustazione Platter ($15.50/person),a heaving platter which includes burrata, mozzarella, prosciutto cotto and crudo, salami, caprese salad, pesto and clambotta e pesti (salad of zucchini, potatoes, onion, tomato and egg).
Panuozzo di Porchetta ($10.00), wood-fired roast pork, smoked mozzarella, arugula, mayo, capsicum and onion relish. Introduced for their lunch menu, great sandwich alternative.
Panuozzo lamb sausage ($10.00). I didn’t try this as I don’t eat lamb, but my fellow diners enjoyed it.
Pizza F1 ($24.00), tomato, buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, ham, salami, vito’s basil and evo (extra virgin olive oil). Pizza the way I like it, don’t overload the toppings and a nice thin base.
Mr Potato Head ($18.90), mozzarella, potato, truffle oil, grano padano and rosemary. I am not a fan of potato pizza, just not my thing. My dining companions on the other hand, that do like potato pizza, thought it was a fantastic one.
Ricotta Cheesecake which had been made in the wood-fired oven. Very full by this stage, but the couple of mouthfuls I had were delicious. Served with strawberries and whipped ricotta.
Would I recommend? Yes I would. Puntino is a warm and friendly trattoria, the staff make you feel at home, the food is hearty and welcoming. Pizza is how I like it and I won’t hesitate to visit again.
Do tell dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, how do you like your pizza, thin and easy on the topping or thick and toppings piled high?
Puntino Trattoria, 41 Crown Street, Woolloomooloo
Tel: +61 (2) 9331 8566
Belly Rumbles was a guest of Wassamedia and Puntino Trattoria.
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