Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week, including Chiosco, Cottage Point Inn, The Lincoln, Julius Pizzeria, and No Mafia.
Chiosco by Ormeggio
Ormeggio, Alessandro Pavoni's acclaimed two-star waterside Italian eatery, now has a more casual younger sibling. Chiosco (yes, that's Italian for kiosk) has opened just across the jetty, serving laid-back Italian "street" food, with a back-to-basics, open-air set-up and breezy views over The Spit. To kick things off there's sunny snacks such as the kingfish crudo zinged up with fennel, blood orange and olive oil, or fat slices of Ormeggio bakery sourdough with house-made ricotta. They're followed by more substantial offerings along the lines of fresh pasta, fish and chips given the Italian treatment with bagna càuda, and a charcoal section dedicated to the likes of smoky corn on the cob dressed with paprika and pecorino, baby octopus skewers with lemony, herby salmoriglio (pictured), and porchetta with salsa verde served in a pizza roll. It's open all week from breakfast through to dinner and, to top it all off, it's BYO (BYO only, in fact, until March, when they expect to have their licence situation under control). Chiosco by Ormeggio, D'Albora Marina, The Spit, Mosman, NSW, (02) 9046 7333. MAYA KERTHYASA
Cottage Point Inn Four Hands Dinner
Forget everything you've heard about too many cooks spoiling the broth: in this case, four hands are definitely better than two. This Saturday, the Hawkesbury River is the setting for a one-off event at Cottage Point Inn, the Four Hands Dinner. Resident chef Guillaume Zika will join forces with his friend and special guest Justin Schmitt, head chef at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. The summer barbecue vibe will be strong across a seven-course dégustation rich in local Hawkesbury produce. It'll include dishes such as pine nut and goat's curd-stuffed flounder from Schmitt, and a grilled wagyu rump cap with shaved foie gras and blackberries from Zika. Dessert's no slouch either, whether it's roasted dark-chocolate mousse with mint ice-cream, or the finale of confit vanilla cucumber with yuzu granita and yoghurt sorbet. Hello, summer. The Four Hands Dinner, Saturday 6 December. $150 per person for a seven-course degustation; $220 with matching wines.**Cottage Point Inn, 2 Anderson Pl, Cottage Point, NSW, (02) 9456 1011. GEORGIA SWANBOROUGH
The unease inevitably accompanying the news of a beloved pub changing hands was pretty muted in the case of the Hotel Lincoln, thanks to the calibre of the new team taking over. New owners Iain Ling (ex-MoVida Aqui) and his wife, Stella, along with chef Lachlan Cameron (recently at Supernormal) and bar manager Emma Ramos (formerly of Le Bon Ton and The Everleigh) are the sort of people from which you expect good things. Here, they don't disappoint. The classic terrazzo and timber front bar remains intact while the dining areas are now lighter with cleaner lines. The food is as uncomplicated and user-friendly as the room, but also precise and interesting. Korean fried quail with spicy mayo, edamame with kelp salt, spiced lamb ribs, and excellent pork and apple sausages with a pickled cabbage salad all look pretty and are full of enthusiastic, upfront flavour. The wine list is a smart one-pager, organised under headings such as Lean, Bright, Textured, and Deep. It's mainly interesting Australian stuff (Chalmers aglianico, Jericho fiano) with a few Europeans lending a hand, while the beer list is all about craft. In terms of beloved pubs changing hands, The Lincoln is a definite best-case scenario. The Lincoln, 91 Cardigan St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9347 4666. MICHAEL HARDEN
Years before a wood-fired oven became the chef's accessory du jour, there was this crazy-busy Beccofino joint pumping out pizza in Brisbane's inner north-east - with nary a pineapple chunk to be seen. It's taken the owners a decade to embark on a second venue, but the results - like the kitchen's slow-rise, long-ferment doughs - are worth the wait. At the new digs, a black-tiled Neapolitan oven takes centrestage in an open kitchen. The pizze emerging from it are classics, with puffy, nicely chewy rims and thin, supple bases. It's a buzzy space housed in a renovated heritage building, tucked beneath a new apartment block. Just opened, it already feels like it's been there forever. The fit-out is pared back for the win- bare brick walls, matte-black paint and simple wooden furniture, with a well-stocked bar. The menu is almost identical to Beccofino, divided in classic fashion and featuring the occasional twist: here a lightly seared beef carpaccio has shavings of truffled pecorino rather than Parmigiano; saltimbocca, meanwhile, is chicken thigh, in place of veal, given the sage and prosciutto treatment. They don't take bookings after six, so, as the brown paper menu advises, come early and come often. Julius Pizzeria, 77 Grey St, South Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3844 2655. FIONA DONNELLY
Perth, meet your new summer crush. Taking over the sliver of space that was Jus Burgers, No Mafia is a new Italian restaurant and wine bar that takes the sunshine and spirit of the country's southern vales and presents them in a fresh-faced, deeply likeable format. How guests choose to enjoy No Mafia's wares is entirely their call: perhaps at elevenses with great pastries and coffee at the bar, or by camping in one of the booths and going to town on Sam McKinven's southern Italian menu. Emma Ferguson's brilliant wine list, meanwhile, has been written with out-and-out drinkability in mind and, refreshingly, everything is poured by the glass. Here's some refreshing Surrau vermentino from Sicily, just the thing to go with sliced-to-order Princi mortadella. There's a splash of rosé from Margaret River's Si Vintners, the perfect accompaniment to swordfish crudo rendered savoury by drops of salty colatura. It's casual, it's hospitable and, best of all, it's open seven days. Roll on summer, we say. No Mafia, 11/189 William St, Northbridge, WA. MAX VEENHUYZEN
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