Restaurant review: Pizza e Mozzarella Bar

Sep 20, 2013
Fresh from the oven at Pizza e Mozzarella. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Fresh from the oven at Pizza e Mozzarella. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Pizza e Mozzarella Bar keeps it so simple.

It uses only one method of cooking – a wood oven. No microwaves, no fryers, stoves or hobs in sight.

Heady smoke and the smell of freshly baked goods – which only a wood oven fire can generate – greets guests on entry. The giant furnace not only warms the cheery restaurant, the aromatic smoke also clings to clothes, making the afternoon’s activities obvious to those back at the office.

But this is all part of the simple charm of the bustling slip-level Pirie Street lunch spot.

The kitchen is no bigger than a general home kitchen and pumps out its variety of pizza, braises and stews with no stress and certainly no panic.

The restaurant itself is divided between three levels, with an upstairs bar and a breakfast-style bench running along the front window, so well-fed diners taunt those walking past with glasses of red wine and over-sized pieces of pizza.

The eclectic mismatching of chairs, tables and glassware could have been picked up at numerous garage sales, and the experienced waiting staff move with ease through the room, providing full table service.

The wine list is sensational, with a heavy emphasis on Italian and Barossa Valley types. It does pay to let the staff steer you towards the Italian varieties, as they are very familiar with the list  and take the fear out of the unknown (and it’s well worth making the leap).

As the name suggests, the menu features a large range of pizzas: they are big, doughy and rustic.

Singed and fluffy crusts with a scattering of fine ingredients make it a challenging lunch-time meal.

The cheese is sparse in the traditional way; pizza sauce is created to be a background player to the many types of toppings on offer.

All the traditional favourites are there – capricciosa, tutto mare and margherita.

This day, potato, rosemary and porcini topped with a drizzle of truffle oil is the perfect match for the crisp base and crust: smooth velvet potato and the earthy texture and flavour of the scattering of mushroom.

Also ordered was a plate of tomato and buffalo mozzarella, the classic combination topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a basil leaf.

A braised veal shin with capers and olives in a rich tomato sauce has been cooked to perfection. Veal melts in the mouth and bread is definitely needed to mop the plate of its remaining juices. It is served in an unceremonious heap – exactly how it should be.

The seafood sofritto of mussels, prawns and bugs is a genuinely serious lunch. Bathed simply in a seafood and wine broth with fresh herbs and served with bread, the seafood is delicately poached and remains the star of the dish. It is worth the challenge of trying to maintain a clean shirt.

Dessert comes in the form of, yep, pizza. Two choices: nutella and gelato, or macerated strawberries, cherries and chocolate. They are far from the usual delicate end to a meal: heavy, but delicious.

The best word to describe Pizza e Mozzarella is “simple” – and that is its beauty.

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The food is based on good-quality ingredients; the chefs prepare them simply and trust they will deliver.

With no fuss from start to finish, Pizza e Mozzarella, is a stand out-among the host of restaurants making Waymouth and Pirie street the lunch strip of choice for Adelaide’s business class.





Pizza e Mozzarella Bar

33 Pirie St, Adelaide

(08) 8164 1003

Opening: Lunch, Monday to Friday, with dinner on Friday nights. Function bookings taken

Mains $17 – $35

Wine – large list both by glass ($7+) and bottle ($35+)

Cuisine: Italian


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