2 October 2010
Pizza Espresso @ 17 Macedon Road, Lower Templestowe
Since the opening of Pizza Espresso, Tony and Remo Nicolini have truly established themselves as maestros of the Melbourne pizza scene. Between them, they have three successful pizzerias under their belt: Pizza Espresso, DOC and +39. If you are looking for quality thin crusted pizzas of the gourmet kind, these pizzerias should be at the top of your list.
The appeal of Nicolini pizzas lies in its crisp thin crusts and the use of quality produce. As tomato and cheese are staple ingredients in almost every pizza on the menu, it is crucial that they get it right. And fortunately, they do. There is a pleasant freshness underlying the tomato base and the fior di latte, a type of Mozzarella that is made from cow’s milk, is milky in flavour and pleasingly delicate in texture.
Tonight, we started off with two large pizzas, the Salsiccia E Funghi and the Del Cornuto.
The Salsiccia E Funghi was a tomato-based pizza containing fior di latte, Italian sausage and sliced button mushrooms. The full-bodied porkiness of the Italian sausage was delectable, but disappointingly, the mushrooms were bland and failed to make a worthy contribution to the pizza. Given the opportunity, I would instantly substitute the mushrooms for more slices of Italian sausage before appropriately truncating the name of the pizza to “Salsiccia”.
The Del Cornuto was also a tomato-based pizza, containing fior di latte, leg ham, hot salami, roasted red peppers and onion. The burst of sweetness from the roasted red peppers combined nicely with the saltiness from the meat. If you like your savoury pizzas to be laced with a bit of sweetness, you’ll enjoy the Del Cornuto.
Dessert time had set upon us. If for nothing else, you must visit Pizza Espresso for their sticky date pizzetta. For what this baby lacks in aesthetic grace, it definitely makes up for in toothsome sweetness. As the fluffy sticky date puree dissipates in your mouth, you are hit with a delicate sweetness from the dates. An extra kick of sweetness from the rich butterscotch sauce quickly follows before the vanilla ice cream and pizza dough step in to counteract the excessive decadence. Mastering the perfect amount of sweetness, this pizzetta is truly an ambrosial version of the classic sticky date pudding.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)