Freelancer Friday: Pizza!

Freelancer Friday is fast becoming a tradition for me (we don't get the customary office based wine-o-clock so have to invent our own...).  After a long week, myself and freelancer friend Sarah Kempson made our way to Pinocchio in South Yarra for Friday, our way.  I'd heard they offered a gluten free friendly menu and Sarah had heard that it was - quote - an "institution".  Despite all that, I'm always keen to try new pizza (who isn't?).

After a few champs at The Lyall we arrived at Pinocchio's, starving and in need of serious indulgence.  We told our waiter about our aversion to wheat and gluten and he seemed very educated about it all. 

To start we opted for the red wine braised baby octopus with Italian style chorizo sausage tossed with roasted peppers and light mint dressing ($12).  Ours came sans-chorizo as our waiter was concerned the sausage might contain gluten.  So we threw in a side of hot chips instead.  The octopus was tender, minus any chewiness, and while octopus heads do somewhat freak me out, the dressing (I would call it a sauce) was thick enough to cover the octopus well; no irkyness at all.  I can imagine it would be a fairly rich dish with the chorizo but it's not overly huge so I wouldn't see this as a problem.

Octopus - and chippies!
Prosecco and entree inhaled and it was onto the pizza and wine.  Many GF pizza bases become soggy, fall apart easily, are too sweet, or simply fail to hold an adequate amount of toppings - for all the above reasons.  As a result, GF pizza can be vastly less enjoyable than eating pizza should ever be (sacrilege).  This was not the case at Pinocchio's.  The base was crisp and firm, but not chewy, and did a good job of holding highly satisfactory amounts of said toppings (as per the images). 

We opted for the pumpkin pizza - or eloquently put, the "Zucca": Fior di latte, wood roasted butternut pumpkin, ricotta pesto pancetta vin cotto "(R $19 L $22).  I'd describe this as fresh, buttery and light.  Seeing as the GF pizza only comes in regular size, we felt it more than reasonable to order two. 

Our second pizza was the Prosciutto: San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, San Daniele Prosciutto, rocket, parmesan and balsamic (R $20 L $24) - and we added chicken.  This one had a bit more oomph with the tomato base and sharp flavours of the stronger toppings which worked perfectly together.  The two pizzas balanced each other very nicely and we ate the lot, bar two slices (which we succumbed to taking away).

As far as ambiance goes, it was a comfortably busy Friday.  We could chat without feeling like we needed to yell; a refreshing change to some of the hot spots in town.  The interior is modern and comfortable with the right amount of lighting.  Maybe that's why we stayed until close without realising we were the only ones left...
I liked the Pinocchio figures throughout the venue too, from the walls to the plates - very classic and very cute.  Character.

Whether we caught them on a very good night or whether this is standard fare from the "new" Pinocchio I've heard about, I found it a welcoming, warming space with friendly, helpful service and fresh, wholesome food. 

No word of a lie.

Enjoy - LMM xoxo

152 Toorak Road, South Yarra
03 9867 2772
Twitter: @pinocchiorest