Sure it shares the same name as the first I Carusi in Brunswick East (and originally they were both pizzaiola Pietro Barbagallo operations), but the feel between the two these days is a little different. For a start it’s stepped up a notch here with white linen tablecloths, then the altogether snappy Barkly Street frontage makes the mood here less industrial. But whatever the differences, we come here for the pizzas, all crispy thin bases with a fine balance of quality toppings. Sheer 12inch pizza bliss and labeled artisan for a reason.
It can be tricky to get a seat if most of St Kilda gets the pizza urge at the same time as you, but delayed gratification only adds to the thrill of a Caprese (fiore di latte and sopressa) or a No. 26 (gorgonzola, leeks and mozzarella), so it’s worth the occasional wait.
Exposed timber beams, provincial style fittings, a certain hubbub to the neatly packed space and a flux in service styles make for a relaxed pizza experience. But it’s open views to the servery and kitchen, allowing a good old squiz at trays of toppings and freshly thrown dough that really set the scene here.
To stay or to go, it’s a contender for some of the best pizza in town. There’s also a bar upstairs where you can sit and wait for your table, or just your pizza.