Crushed in like Sardinians ... 'Pilu' at Freshwater.
Crushed in like Sardinians ... Pilu at Freshwater. Photo: Tamara Dean

THERE'S something about this stretch of the northern beaches that makes your average Sardinian come down with a severe bout of homesickness. It's not just the dramatic seaside location, or the wind-in-your-hair freshness, or the sting of salt spray; it's the inspired Sardinian-influenced cooking of local Italian pin-up boy, Giovanni Pilu.

So instead of northern Italian standards, there's cured swordfish with green peppers, farro and oregano; spaghetti with sea urchin, bottarga (dried mullet roe) and new season's garlic; and roasted pineapple with coconut and thyme, burnt faro gelato and pine nut glass.

The famous roast suckling pig comes with farmhouse suckling pig sausage, seasonal vegetables, pinzimonio and roast potato ($100 for two).

If you really want to find out what this Sardinian malarkey's all about, then get the whole table to order the Menu Sardo, a seven-course feast that can be matched to specially selected Sardinian wines, finishing on a glass of delicious Sardinian myrtle liqueur.

What the Good Food Guide says: “The much lauded oven-roasted suckling pig for two comes as heroically sized hunks of slow-roasted free range suckling pig to be shared by two.”

This summer's hot order: Crumbed smoked eel, kinkawooka mussels, grapefruit and stinging nettles, $28.

End of Moore Road, Freshwater

Tel 9938 3331

www.piluatfreshwater.com.au

Lunch Tues-Sun; Dinner Tues-Sat

Around $160 for two, plus drinks