Pino's Vino e Cucina isn't your average neighbourhood restaurant. Tucked away in the residential backstreets of Alexandria, this venture from Matteo Margiotta (ex-Blackstar Pastry) is an homage to his Italian heritage. The menu features traditional Italian fare with a twist; scallops served with baby gem, prosciutto and cauliflower cream are joined on the antipasti menu by oysters with a watermelon and cabernet sauvignon vinegar sorbet. Handmade pasta dominates the main menu, so you'll want to dine with those who don't mind sharing because picking just one is nearly impossible. You'll also find duck, fish and a one kilo black angus fiorentina ($98) if you're after some protein.
Named after Margiotta's father, the eatery strives for a local, family feel and features hanging copper pots that were shipped over from the family house in Rome. Perhaps most compelling is that all the timber used to fit-out the restaurant — most evident in the luxe L-shaped bar that runs the length of the main dining area — was recycled from houses lost to the WestConnex development. Whether you're a resident of Alexandria or not, you'll want to make Pino's your new local.