Food & Drinks

Inside Neighbourhood Wine and Pasta Bar, Pinotta

If you are a lover of seasonal produce, hand made pasta and Italian vino, this one’s for you. Born from a love of wine, design and beautiful ingredients, Fitzroy North institution Pinotta Wine Bar was founded over a decade ago.

In today's blog owner Heidi shares her design inspiration from the interior, to menu and seasonal food pairings. Get ready for a delicious read!

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1. Hi Heidi! Thank you for welcoming us inside Pinotta Wine Bar. Tell us about the business and how/when you started. What inspired you to open your restaurant? 

I opened Pinotta nearly twelve years ago. After a career in Graphic Design, I realised that my ideal job involved forging relationships with people, being surrounded by great ingredients, food and a very good glass of wine. 

Pinotta was born out of this dream, and has given me a constant supply of new friendships, an extensive (yet still very naive) knowledge of wine, and (thanks to COVID) an opportunity to work in the kitchen with our chefs and our wonderful suppliers.

2. Pinotta has been dining (and thriving) for over 10 years now. What is your secret to running such a successful business? Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to take on a similar adventure?

I think Pinotta owes its success to two things: an incredible community that really supports a neighbourhood restaurant (which has never been better demonstrated than in post COVID times) and a willingness to pitch in and do it all. I have been a cook, painter, bookkeeper, cleaner, plumber, web designer, delivery driver and host… Being 'all hands in' teaches you every aspect of running a business and gives you insight into the role each person plays in its success. Pinotta is the sum of all its parts. 

My advice would be to take every opportunity as a learning moment, believe in yourself and your capacity to achieve, and keep a support group of incredible friends very close by.

3. We heard through the grapevine that you have some pretty great interior connections (as the restaurant shows!) How would you describe Pinotta’s interior aesthetic and where do you draw inspiration from? 

I have been so lucky at Pinotta! My favourite amigos are Ed Klein and Tracey Grimshaw (Grandfather’s Axe) and Gordon and Susie Tait (Tait), and you can definitely see their influence in lighting and furniture. My favourite piece is the Trace Drinks Trolley, which is designed by another of my besties Adam Goodrum. It’s actually the prototype, and a gift from the Tait’s and Adam to me. It sits pride of place in the bar. 

My very good friend Murray Walker has also allowed me to hang his artwork and Found Object pieces at Pinotta since we opened in 2011. They are such a part of the restaurant now that I can’t imagine ever giving them back, and I also have one or two of his pieces at home. 

It’s this idea, of gifted things, shared friendships and moments, that dictate the look and feel of Pinotta. It resonates with who I am as an individual. After all, Pinotta really is just an extension of me.

4. What seasonal food and wine trends can we expect to see we transition from summer to autumn?

I think we will see more cooking over coal. It’s such a great addition to restaurant culture and I think its popularity will continue to grow. A great cut of meat, a wedge of cabbage, and the addition of fire… perfection. Warmed oysters will definitely have a moment.

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