Puntino Trattoria – Woolloomooloo

November 11, 2012
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Woolloomooloo is pretty well known to Sydneysiders as the swanky place by the bay. It’s where Russell Crow lives. It’s where the rich and famous come for a casual dinner in sky high heels. It’s where the rest of us go for a very special occasion dinner, or a work lunch when work’s paying ;)

With my sense of direction, (Stud will read this and I will do doubt get an “I told you so”) its quite easy for me to either not know where I am, walk the wrong way down a street I have been to a million times, or just get lost all together (thank God for my iPhone!). So I was pretty surprised to find out how big Woolloomooloo actually is!

Did you know that it goes all the way up Crown Street, almost to William Street? Oh really? Ok maybe it’s just me then.

Any who! I was heading to Puntino Trattoria upon invitation from the lovely ladies at Wasamedia and decided to walk from work and sneak in a pole class (to work off what was sure to be an epic meal). I was pretty surprised at how close it was. I’m always surprised at how close things are when I walk them. I do love walking around Sydney. Such a beautiful city filled with interesting people and aromas (and in both cases, some good, some bad).

From the outside, Puntino is a small unassuming restaurant with the cutest lighting ever. Upon entering, you get the gorgeous waft of the wood fire oven, the warm greeting of staff, and the cutest lighting ever! String lights with jam jar shades :D

The wood fire oven is the star of the show tonight and almost everything we’re eating has been in it at some point. Even dessert! Note to self: Next house needs a wood fire oven!

Up first we’re given the wood fire cheese and all hungry mouths close to sniff in the earthy truffle infusion. The ooze of the cheese makes it easily smooshable (it’s a word!) on our focaccia and apart from the “mmmmm”’s and nodding around the table, no one said a word.

Mmmmmm cheesey gif goodness!

We’re then brought out the Mozzarella degustation platter. Need only mention buffalo mozzarella to a food blogger and the tough exterior of our “reviewers face” melts away to kittens and snowflakes. To say we were excited about this dish was an understatement!

In the platter, there’s burrata and your choice of either bufala classica (buffalo mozzarella) or bufala affumicata (smoked buffalo mozzarella) – we were given both to try. These are served with selezione di salumi: prosciutto crudo, prosciutto cotto alla brace and mortadella di quattro stele, ciambotta e pesti: mixed zucchini, potatoes, onion, tomato and egg in terra cotta with pesto di basilico, pesto di pomodori secchi basil pesto, sundried tomato pesto and caprese classica tomato, mozzarella di bufala and fresh basil. There was also a trio of salts on the platter which was great to try each on a different selection of cheese. And a great excuse to try more cheese ;)

The “ciambotta e pesti” or as I like to call it “the eggy dish in the middle” was stunning. Not much to look at, but packed with gorgeously fresh flavours that dance on the tongue and compliment every other thing on the platter.

I’m still in two (or three) minds about my favourite out of the cheeses. One can’t go past burrata as a crowd please but trying the smoked mozzarella was great and a first for me. I did love the classic too though. Ugh cheesy decisions!!!

This was actually my first time out at a blogger event as a vego so I didn’t try any of the meat. From what the other meat eaters at the table told me, the meat was delicious and they would definitely order it again.

Italy’s answer to a cheese toastie – the cheese calzone (calzone ai formaggi) was up next and the blackened edges were wood fire perfection. Although a gorgeously smoky flavour, I would have liked a little more cheese in this one. I think we were spoiled from the oozey cheese in the first dish.

A lover of mushrooms, the funghi misti al forno (a medley of seasonal mushroom baked in the woodfired oven with dads fresh herbs and olive oil) was on of my favourite for the night. Such a simple dish, mushrooms, oil, rosemary, but pure earthy awesomeness in a tiny dish. The mixture of mushrooms was a great showcase of seasonality, textures and flavours. Those who haven’t tried this dish, I urge you to order it immediately!

Now you all know I gave gnocchi a try earlier this year and I was pretty proud of myself. Then Puntino presented theirs – gnocchi sorrentino: potato gnocchi cooked in a light napolitana sauce served with slices of buffalo mozzarella, and basil – and suddenly I have a benchmark that I will forever try to achieve. The light as air pillows of potato gnocchi literally melted in your mouth as if fairy floss disintegrating on the tongue. The rich tomato flavour of the Napoli sauce is bold yet not heavy as most gnocchi dishes can be. And who doesn’t love cheese on pasta?

The next two “sandwiches” are available on the lunchtime menu. Panuozzo di porchetta: woodfired roast pork, smoked mozzarella, arugula, mayo, capsicum and onion relish and Panuozzo lamb sausage.

The consensus at the table was that both of these were delicious and very plentiful! Probably best easten between two people, or one hungry Studd ;)

Pizza tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime! There’s a veg pizza – mr potato head: mozzarella, potato, truffle oil, grano padano and rosemary and the f1: tomato, buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, ham, salami, vito’s basil and evo.

Now purely by name, I have a soft spot for Mr Potato Head, but this was actually my favourite dish of the evening. I even surprised myself with my love for this dish. The truffle oil definitely makes this dish and gives a gorgeous earthyness to the potatoes but as a whole, this dish definitely shines above all others for the simplicity.

Even the meat eaters were swayed to this one! Another absolutely-must-try!

Last but by no means least, an oven-baked, woodfire-oven-finished cheesecake with ricotta and strawberries is placed in front of us. Always up for a challenge (and with this many carbs, it really was!) I take my piece and promptly devour. The cheesecake has a luscious creaminess with a hint of smoke from the woodfire. A great end to such a gorgeous meal.

Now that I am aware of the span of Woolloomooloo and that it has some really well priced hole in the wall places, I’m harassing Stud to return.

Perhaps a Christmas get-together lunch or dinner, this place is great for a crowd or an intimate night for two.

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19 Responses to Puntino Trattoria – Woolloomooloo

  1. chocolatesuze on November 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    zomg everything looks incredible!

  2. vegeTARAian on November 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Cheese lovers paradise! The cheesy gif made me drool ;)

  3. Tina @ bitemeshowme on November 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I am in total love with that cheesey gif! DROOL! Definitely looks like a great feed. It does seem to stick to the more traditional side of things, but that’s the way it should be done, namely those pizzas! Love it.

  4. david Stone on November 12, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Amazing food sand very family friendly. I think it is the best value for money restaurant in Sydney….

  5. Choc Chip Uru on November 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I can see why the rich and famous hang out in this area the food is so classy and delicious :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  6. Jacq on November 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    That mozzarella tasting platter was freaking amazing – I think I could have eaten the whole thing by myself. The gnocchi was also one of my favourites too

  7. Hotly Spiced on November 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I love Woolloomooloo. What yummy looking food. I love the look of the mushrooms, the ‘sandwiches’ and the pizza, especially Mr Potato Head xx

  8. Christie @ Fig & Cherry on November 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    This is one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Sydney! The wood fired mushrooms are to die for!

  9. Vivian - vxdollface on November 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I’m planning on returning with friends as well :) really liked the food and vibe there

  10. Sara (Belly Rumbles) on November 14, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I also didn’t realise that Woolloomooloo went to Crown St either! Love your cheese gif :p

  11. The Squishy Monster on November 15, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Smoosh is definitely a word-much like squish and squishy =) I would devour all of that—it looks SO good!!

  12. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on November 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

    The food there looks SO divine! Loving the sound of the textures :)

  13. Daisy@Nevertoosweet on November 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Everything looks so yummy especially the pizza and I love the moving first pic!

  14. Christine @ Cooking Crusade on November 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Beautiful looking dinner. I am salivating at the sight of those gorgeous mushrooms, yum! I’ve never been to Woolloomooloo before but this looks like a great excuse to visit :)

  15. Trisha on November 18, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Hahaha… I associate Woolloomooloo with Russell Crowe as well. :D Looooove the melted truffle cheese gif!! This reminds me, must post my Puntino blogpost up as well! It was a pleasure to have met you that evening!

  16. Amanda@ChewTown on November 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I’ve haven’t been yet but after your review, it sounds like I need to try it. That cheese looks so tasty!

  17. Nami | Just One Cookbook on November 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    What a great restaurant! All the dishes you showed us here looks wonderful. And the potato pizza… I think that will be my favorite too. I’ve tried once at some restaurant and I still remember how good it was!

  18. Joanne on November 24, 2012 at 4:49 am

    I always thought I was pretty good at making gnocchi also until I had a lighter-than-air restaurant version. Sigh. Mine were suddenly not so good. That whole meal sounds fabulous!!

  19. ChopinandMysaucepan on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Dear Nic,

    I am a meatlover but that vege pizza Mr Potato Head looks awesome especially when there is a drizzle of truffle oil. There are quite a few restaurants along the Woolloomooloo strip and I have not been back for a while.

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.