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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Pixie Byron Bay

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The stylish interior at Pixie Italian, with its inviting bar for latecomers – if there’s room

It was Saturday night and we hadn’t booked. Despite the full house we were treated like royalty as staff sat us up at the bar. The vibe was jovial – a crowd of mixed ages from three generations in one family, to groups of four and six and some couples.

From the bar we enjoyed a fascinating insight into the focus that makes Pixie Italian what it is – a friendly, intimate restaurant serving breathtaking Italian cuisine. Under normal circumstances the staff would be a credit to the restaurant owners. In these challenging times the service was particularly impressive – every cocktail was a collaboration, checked by senior staff. Our menu choices were discussed and approved.

The Roasted wattleseed tart (the wattleseed had a coffee flavour), blue swimmer crab, fermented pumpkin was my husband’s favourite dish. And we are not short of crabs in our household, with his family regularly dropping off their catch.

I can still taste the Lobster tortellini, saffron, buttermilk, caviar. Each tortelleno expertly crafted as a biteful. 

Created in deference to excecutive chef Matteo Tine’s Roman mother, the ethically raised Stone Axe Wagyu rump cap was paired with globe artichoke alla giudia. This ancient style of cooking artichokes sees them pickled then crumbed in rice flour and fried. It came with a fava bean puree cooked with onion, garlic and lemon zest and a jus blended with horseradish. It was, really, a sensation.

The meringue was everything I want in a dessert. It was sizeable (perfect to share), gooey with brittle chunks – and there was toffee. 

I later spoke with Matteo Tine on the phone. ‘I’m trying to do a really cool coastal cuisine that pushes the boundaries when it comes to what you would expect from Italian food,’ he said. ‘We have a lot of influences from all over Europe. Plus, I have my own take on things. Everyone is welcome here. I don’t want to be one of those restaurants that is stuffy. You can come in and have a bowl of pasta and a salad. Or you can come in and have the whole shebang’.

Set within the Jonson Lane precinct at the southern end of Jonson Street, Pixie exudes vintage sophistication. Red-trimmed cutlery is a throwback to 1950s picnicware. Sea green tiles reminded me of early butcher shops. Evening summer light streaming in highlighted the bartop Shogun Lamp and our glassware, which paid homage to 1970s Italy. 

We had chosen the most expensive dishes and the bill was $202 for two main courses, one shared entrée, one shared dessert and five individual glasses of wine. We left inspired and will return.


Jonson Lane, 139 Jonson Street Byron Bay 

The writers visited anonymously and paid their own way. 

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