Review: Pistou Restaurant And Wine Bar, Newtown

Drink, Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 1 March 2021

For good food, good wine, and a good time, Pistou is a must-visit.

Pistou is Newtown’s new French-meets-Mediterranean 50-seat, eat-in deli, and wine bar. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s the perfect place for a long lunch or to pop in for a cheeky vino and nibbles.

Designed to offer rustic charm, the venue has a welcoming vibe and is reminiscent of a homely space somewhere in the French Provence. Ensuring you know what’s on offer, a large cabinet displays a wide and tempting selection of charcuterie and cheeses.

The ever-changing menu focuses on seasonality and sustainability. Head chef, Katie Morris (ex-Tetsuya) has curated a delicious menu of cheeses, charcuteries, hot and cold deli plates, and desserts. Plus, throughout the day, Pistou offers an assortment of sandwiches.

Pistou is owner Jules Bouillon’s first venture but he is by no means a stranger to the hospitality industry. Winner of the 2019 Nestlé Professional/Food Service – 30 Under 30 Hospitality Industry Leaders Awards, Bouillon, opened world-renowned Balthazar in London and managed NOLA Smokehouse and Bar in Barangaroo, as well as Glorietta in North Sydney.

The European menu requires some Googling to decipher but luckily Pistou is a venue where you can rely on the staff, and our waiter John deserves a special shout-out.

After a brief discussion, we opted for the Queso Oveja (a hard sheep’s milk, matured for 10 months, then submerged in olive oil and rosemary) and the Jamon Duroc Gran reserve 18mth, plus the Mallorquina (a soft spreadable Spanish sausage).

To supplement the meat, we ordered two seafood dishes – pickled octopus with pistou (think pesto) and spicy borlotti beans, and the pan-fried squid with Boulangère potatoes cooked in honey fermented cloves of garlic. We savoured every bite. Then, trusting in John, we lightened our meal with the pickled eggplant with labneh and cashews.

The drinks menu designed by Tilly Sawrey (ex-Buffalo Dining Club) is anything but an afterthought. There’s a solid section of wines, as well as apéros and digestifs, plus three cocktails that change almost daily. The wine list has a strong focus on minimum intervention, sustainably farmed, and natural wines only from small Australian and European artisans and suppliers.

I fell in love with a chilled Australian red (Urban Winery Project ‘Light Red’, recommended by John) and stayed faithful until he brought me light, fragrant thyme digestive (ask for Farigoule – the perfect way to finish the evening).

Every dish was delicious and full of flavour. For good food, good wine, and a good time, Pistou is a must-visit, and return.

Happily, dining at Pistou won’t break the bank, with cheese and charcuteries priced at just under $15 each, and substantial deli plates ranging from $15-$25.

Situated on King Street, Newtown, Pistou is a short stroll from St. Peter’s station. Pistou is open Tue-Fri 12pm-late, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-5pm.