I couldn’t have been further from Sydney when I spotted a twitter pic of a gloriously blistered pizza, late last year. We were road tripping through Maine, getting our fill on local seafood, when I had no choice but to take mental note of the then new Italian eatery in Rosebery.
The guys behind Da Mario are no strangers with the Neapolitan pizza they dish up. Their first love, Pizza Mario in Surry Hills, has been wooing many folk since they opened their doors thirteen years ago.
Sacks of 00 flour are piled near our table, an indication of what goes into the pizza bases and pastas that people flock here for. And for anyone that likes to throw an anchovy or six on any pizza they order (who, me?), forget about doing it here. All pizzas comply by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an Italian organisation that promotes and protects true Neapolitan pizza around the world.
With no variations clearly printed on the menu, it was pretty evident that the request of “only a little cheese” on the pancetta pizza (26) fell under the same rule, and on deaf ears. I don’t have any problems with cheese, but others can’t eat it excessively. Cheese aside, this is one fine pizza, and just the way I like it. Thin base, charred and puffed crust, and perfectly dry underneath. Along with the pancetta and pool of mozzarella, there’s also cherry tomato, ricotta and thyme.
Numerous things jumped out at me from the menu. Yes there’s the selection of 17 pizzas and a couple of calzone, but there’s also a decent variety of pasta, antipasti, salads and specials.
The risotto alla barbabietola (20) was nothing short of swoon material. Vibrant in colour and dotted with cubes of beetroot, flecks of parsley and a sexy stream of gorgonzola.
And then there was my pizza choice. The partenopea (20). A tomato base, small pools of mozzarella, olives, anchovies, capers and oregano. There was a great deal of mouth joy happening, I must say. And I didn’t even have to try asking for my beloved anchovies. Any other pizza, and that may have resulted in a nonna-style smack to the back of my head.