Melbourne’s little Italy.

Posted on October 26, 2011

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D.O.C Pizza and Mozzarella bar has firmly cemented its mark on the Melbourne pizza scene, producing some of the most authentic and delicious pizza’s outside of Italy. With Slow Food philosophies, well versed wait staff, a vibrant atmosphere and incredibly fresh produce, its no surprise that there is a long queue to be seated four years since opening.

The Carlton pizzeria is owned by Robert Desantis and Michael Costanzo and run by Tony Nicolini, three men who have helped shape the movement of quality artisan pizza in Melbourne. This place has a modern interior and minimalistic design which represents Italian food: simple and well presented. On a Sunday night, it is packed full of people speaking Italian reminiscing of home. This is one of the most authentic Italian experiences in Melbourne. A no bookings policy, means that it is essential to avoid the seven o’clock crowds.

We are seated between two sets of Italian couples, conversing and comparing the food to that of the homeland. I listen intently to pick up any suggestions as to what to eat. Nothing to my comprehension, but I notice that everyone is drinking Campari. I have an aversion to Campari, it’ s bitterness sadly encourages my gag reflex, but I am determined to get over this hurdle with Aperol. Campari’s slightly less offensive cousin. I order an aperol spritzer, which excites my palette in a way which Campari never could. After a few swigs it becomes a chore to finish but I am determined not to fail in front of my new Italian observers.

First off the menu is huge, difficult to read, but interesting. There is a map on the back, which explains the origin and type of ingredients available. There is a small range of fresh salads, and entree’s, pizza’s and desserts. The mostly Italian wine and beer list is short but well put together and the staff are great at food and wine pairing. Thankfully there is a BYO option. Mr M and I order a shared entrée of Buffalo mozzarella with San Danielle prosciutto, with tomato and a basil pesto. The mozzarella is porcelain in colour, fragrant and springy to touch. One between two is more than enough. The combination of tomato, pesto and mozzarella is a tried and tested formula for success.

We ordered two pizza’s to share, the San Daniele which was topped with San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and San Daniele prosciutto. The Sopressa was topped with tomato, mozzarella, provolone, salami, pesto and olive. The base is thin and crisp, while the crust has the perfect chewy texture. I preferred the soppressa topping as it had a bolder flavour, the olives gave it the perfect amount of saltiness and the combination of cheese worked well. However, the flavours on the San Daniele pizza where subtle and well-balanced. The cured meat on the pizza was incredibly sweet tasting and had a velvety texture as if it could almost melt in your mouth. San Daniele prosciutto is aged from twelve months to two years, it’s region of origin will influence it’s taste and texture. You can finish off dinner with one of their sweet dessert pizza’s, a slice of tiramisu, buffalo milk ice cream or a digestive like Limoncello. Sadly, we overate and skipped dessert.

The restaurant executes what may seem like a simple idea, perfectly: to bring artisan style pizza to Melbourne. Rather than attempting to create too much, they have streamlined and focused on simple Italian fare. It is a vibrant and welcoming, just the type of atmosphere to show tourists a snapshot of the Melbourne dining scene. Simple flavours at an affordable price……

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar on Urbanspoon

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