Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living


Written by Emma Brancatisano

Photography by Des Harris

Two Italian brothers are bringing West Pymble crowds one step closer towards ‘la dolce vita’.

It is a phrase that cornerstones Italian life – and one we cannot help but to ponder.

It is also the signature dessert of a new Italian local to hit West Pymble; an indulgent, glazed trio of chocolate mousse is dotted with almond praline and finished with a light wisp of fairy floss.

Each mouthful is a flavoursome nod to the sweet life.

This is Italian food with a difference.

Hailing from Calabria, brothers Rocco and John Mammone opened The Sawmill this April –a café, restaurant and pizzeria that exudes the warmth and ease of Italian cooking and family life.

Together with business partners Susan and Domenico Murdocco, it is the first venture of the ‘Italian Street Collection.’

Tucked away in an untouched pocket of West Pymble, The Sawmill is not your average Italian restaurant. The space is rustic and industrial, paying homage to the local history of the area.

“In 1823, when Robert Pymble arrived here, he built the first sawmill. We thought it was a catchy name that would stick,” Rocco says.

“To replicate that history, we’ve used a lot of recycled timber that we’ve collected from sawmills across Sydney.”

The contemporary space is balanced by a regional menu that offers the usual staples “with a twist”.

Traditional ‘polpette’ and ‘antipasti’ are offered as starters, followed by home-made gnocchi with brown sage butter or a slow-cooked duck ragu.

Desserts and pastries, from sweet Italian zippoli to pistachio-filled cannoli, are also made in-house. And, of course, ‘Dolce Vita’ assures an indulgent finish.

After 14 years spent working in the industry, including his latest three-year stint at The Butcher’s Block in Wahroonga, Rocco is seeing his dream of owning his own restaurant become a reality.

“I wanted to bring that same formula of good food, a good venue and a great combination of staff. It’s really all about the people.”

Rocco’s passion and keen eye for customer service has seen hoards of customers follow him to West Pymble.

“It has been really warming... they are people who have become friends rather than customers. You become part of a family, and that’s really special.”

Searching for 'la dolce vita'? Dinner at The Sawmill may be the place to start.

7 Duneba Avenue, West Pymble | 02 9498 6565

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