“Italian restaurant Il Pontile is the latest newcomer to Woolloomooloo’s Finger Wharf. Chef Mario Percuoco (son of Buon Ricordo’s Armando Percuoco) serves up wonderful Italian dishes with a focus on Neapolitan cuisine in an indoor and outdoor setting – there is no better place to be on a sunny day. There are some must-order dishes including a seafood linguine, Pacherri Sorrentina and a divine Sfogliatelle pastry to finish off.
Il Pontile means the jetty and when you arrive at the finger wharf’s jetty it is the first restaurant taking over the space of Aki’s and Amalfi Way. The restaurant is owned by chef Mario Percuoco and backed by the hospitality division of the Graaf Group. Mario chose the wharfside location as it reminded him of Naples and prefers to call this “nice dining” instead of “fine dining”. It is also the only restaurant along the wharf that is dog friendly – indeed the owners have Nero, a friendly German Shepherd that often makes an appearance (perhaps hoping that a customer will order the Bistecca alla Fiorentina).
Mario was born in Naples and is a fourth generation Italian chef. In the 1950s and 1960s Mario’s namesake grandfather hosted some famous names at his Naples restaurant with guests like Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren as well as then US President Dwight Eisenhower before migrating to Sydney to open Pulcinella in Kings Cross. His father Armando Percuoco arrived in Australia in 1972 and created the iconic Buon Ricordo in Paddington in 1987. “He (Armando) was the best teacher for me in the Italian cuisine. It was a natural progression for me, being 4 generations chefs. No competition, you can’t compete with the best!” says Mario.”