The team at Pottsville’s Pipit Restaurant are known for the creative food and drink on offer on their award-winning gourmet menus, but COVID has pushed their creativity to think beyond the plate. They turned to takeout, pop-ups, fish art prints, closed-loop ceramics, crowdfunded books, stay-at-home gifts for business owners and now – even. lessons !
These creative hubs reflect the entrepreneurial and resilient spirit within small hotel businesses, as well as the owner / chef, Ben Devlin’s own education in Byron Bay. His parents were also self-employed, which gave him an idea of DIY and problem-solving. At Pipit, this hands-on approach ranges from tiling the walls, to making art prints, to the kitchen, where he does almost everything from scratch: bread, ice cream, cheese, ham, miso, etc.
Pipit was voted Australia’s Best Regional Restaurant for 2020 (Good Food Guide) and offers seasonal menus that showcase the best of local produce, sustainable seafood and wood-fired cuisine. It revolves around an open-plan kitchen design, where diners can interact with chefs and see all the action from select counter seats. Outside of the current lockouts, they offer a seven-course menu for dinner and lunch on Sunday (125 pp) and a six-course menu for lunch on Friday and Saturday (100 pp).
Pipit remains committed to food, but in this difficult time they also recognize that some locals are looking for different and smaller dining options as well.
During the March 2020 closings, Pipit has pivoted to being a Vietnamese takeout, and for the past six months, they’ve also been doing monthly pop-ups, encouraging a different staff member to lead an idea each month. It ranges from duck burgers to pastry boxes and bao rolls. This week on lockdown, they’re offering Grilled Fish Lunch Boxes, Shawarma Kebab Wraps, and Fried Chicken Meals (at LGA Tweed only).
Their creative pop-ups that were planned before the lockups will continue (although some convert to take-out mode). Reserve upcoming dates:
• DADS DAY – South American barbecue for Father’s Day. September 5.
• NUIT DE STEAK D’ESPADON – French bistro (ish). September 16.
• YOUNG CHEFS COLLAB – fine cuisine prepared by apprentice chefs. September 20.
• SALAMI COURSE & LUNCH – October 4th.
• BREAKFAST BOXES IN BED – (delivery) October 29th and 30th.
Pipit co-owner Yen Trinh said, “COVID has been really tough for us, but the opportunities to be creative and brave to test new ideas have been a silver lining in these strange times.”
Info, menus and reservations on their website