I thought I had dinner already scoped out for the night with The Boy. We planned to meet up after my squash game at the Uni and go for Pho on Lygon Street. No, you didn’t hear me wrong. I wanted Vietnamese in Melbourne’s most famous Pizza mile…yeah. My squash mates had different ideas and convinced us to change plans to go and get Pizza.
But Pizza in Lygon Street? My experiences have always been bad. I mean, I like pizza (who doesn’t?) – but only in Italy. I’m a pizza snob; yes I am. Lygon Street is, for me, like running the gauntlet past various old Italian spruikers (and they’re not even attractive, unlike the ones in Hardware Lane) who are trying to pass off their various La Porchetta-like restaurants as authentic. Or any good at all.
Well, you know, I’ve heard of D.O.C. They’re meant to be opening up a special delicatessan on Lygon Street very soon and I was contemplating amazing inspired dishes with lavish amounts of cheese and prosciutto. So this was my chance to see whether this was the best of the worst (so to speak) or whether it was something more, something I could love and want to come back to.
Yeah, it was pretty special. There is real Pizza in Carlton! Hallelujah!
The first inkling that we had that it was special was the wait for a table on a Wednesday night. We managed to scoop a table for 4 straight off the street, but I seriously don’t know how. The penny dropped as soon as the antipasto platter ($23.50) was laid before us: mozzarella, cured meats, crumbed olives, artichoke… but best of all, the buffalo mozzarella! Everybody’s favourite.
That really set the scene for the pizza to come. My personal favourite was the Salsiccia ($21) that I ordered – saussage, cream of broccoli and mozzarella. There was ample broccoli and the flavour punch was pretty powerful, especially atop such a perfect pizza base – crisp on the outside, thin-but-not-too-thin, soft on the inside and in the crust. The snaussage was quite flavoursome as well, but I’m not really the biggest fan. The Boy wolfed it down, always a good indication.
We also favoured the C0rnuto ($21) with roasted pepper and hot salami. This got the thumbs up from everybody and was declared the winning pizza by one. I love a good hot salami!
The favourite of the night; however, has to be the San Daniele ($23.40) with tomato, mozzarella and prosciutto. Such a simple pizza with such rich flavour from all 3 toppers. It stays true to Italian form, nothing complicated, just exceptionally good ingredients which speak for themselves.
If that was all, you’d be mistaken. Squash makes you kind of hungry in a nutella kind of way. Yeah, we got a Nutella calzonchino (the length of one and a half of my hands, absolutely packed with nutella $9.90) and wrapped up the night licking it up off our fingers. Have I mentioned that I’m actually 10 years old? Thought so.
Look, not perfect service; although at one point I exclaimed to E “where would we *be* without you!” just as the waiter put our plates down, which was quite awkward for him when he smiled right at me and I didn’t notice/respond. I guess he thought he was doing quite a fine job with the laying of crockery. I thought they were a little understaffed and it was a bit difficult to get their attention in a fairly cramped space. But, they were polite and didn’t get anything wrong, nor did I get any attitude. But maybe I could’ve scored a phone number.
Ambience: 7/10 (it’s probably moderate-to-loud in there, bit hard to talk)
Value for money: 9/10 (all up, $25 each, not including wine. Certainly cheaper than driving all over town to find something this good, or even flying to Italy! Haha)
Score (food is weighted double): 84%
My housemates have since informed me that this is actually somewhere they used to frequent after Uni. Apparently it is consistently amazing and that the pizzas are all worth a good go! (Especially the truffle oil and wild mushroom which is in sight for next time!)