Opening its door last week, Pepé Italia Deli is the second Gold Coast venture for restaurateurs Andrea Fabrizio and Alexa Damianopoulos. In early 2017 they opened Pepé Italia in Burleigh Heads and, buoyed by local demand for their authentic Italian eats, they decided to spread their goodness south with a brand-new Pepé venue in the recently opened Pavilions Palm Beach precinct. While the menu mirrors that of its popular Burleigh sibling, the duo have shifted the concept for their latest venue to incorporate a deli and grab-and-go element into the restaurant, much to the delight of residents of Palm Beach and the surrounds.
The food and drink
While its deli sure is eye catching, Pepé is at its core a pizza-and-pasta restaurant. A custom hand-tiled pizza oven imported from Verona takes pride of place in the open kitchen, allowing diners a peek at what goes on behind the scenes while sending mesmerising aromas across the 60-seat venue. There’s an extensive offering of antipasti plates on offer, giving sit-down diners a taste of what’s on display in the deli cabinet. Our pick? The thinly sliced wagyu bresaola served simply with shaved parmigiano reggiano, rocket and lemon juice. All of the pastas (think pappardelle, spaghetti, paccheri and agnolotti) are made on-site by hand daily, as is the pillow-soft gnocchi swimming in four cheeses. The pizzas are prepared with old-world leavening techniques and are topped with simple arrangements before being fired to emulate true Italian style. Sweet tooths can cap off their meal with a Nutella pizza with vanilla ice-cream or ricotta-filled cannoli, while those searching for sips will find a vast selection of Italian wines, beers and cocktails, as well as digestives.
Restaurant diners and passers by can grab everything from mortadella, salami and prosciutto by the gram to slithers of local cheeses, fresh Italian-style sandwiches brimming with cured meats and cheese, handmade sweet treats, and take-home packs of Pepé’s popular fresh pastas and house-made sauces. Everything in the cabinets is local (the salamis and cheese are sourced direct from Byron Bay) and is sliced and packaged to order. There’s coffee pouring for those that like a fix later in the day (just like the Italians), which pairs perfectly with the fresh-made cannoli and tiramisu. The Pepé team also holds a proper Italian aperitivo session every Sunday – the tables and chairs are cleared from the restaurant floor and the doors are open for locals to come in and sip and snack in true Italian style. During the aperitivo session, the food and snacks are complimentary and will continue to flow out across the afternoon – all you have to do is pay for your drinks.
Keen to check it out? Head to the Stumble Guide listing for opening hours, location and contact details.