From the sugo to the chilli honey, olive oil and wine, just about everything at Pizzateca is prepared by hand, from scratch. In the coming weeks, that’ll go for its gelati, too.
Father-son owners Vito and Tony Mitolo and their business partner Tim Anderson have teamed up with Italian-born gelato maker Andrea Calabrese – who’s worked in Puglia, London and Melbourne, where he clocked time at Pidapipo – to open Gelateca next door. And you can expect the same dedication to ingredients and provenance that’s made their McLaren Vale pizzeria so popular.
“We’ve always wanted to make gelati – it’s an extension of what we're doing and it just made sense,” Tony tells Broadsheet. “We [currently] serve gelati and we try to find the best gelati we can, but like anything else, it’s better if it’s handmade and made on-site. We also just think it means a whole lot more when you’re backing it and doing it there.”
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Flavours will range from Italian classics – hazelnut, pistachio, coffee, chocolate and fior di latte (“not vanilla, Andrea was adamant,” says Tony) – to ricotta with Strega herbal liqueur, dulce de leche and creations made with Pizzateca’s Oztalia chilli honey and zesty limoncello. There’ll also be dairy-free sorbet (like lemon) and gluten-free cones.
“It’s all about the pistachio and hazelnut,” says Tony. “They’re like the margherita of gelati. If you can’t make a margherita, don't bother with anything else and just keep making margheritas until you can. It’s like the barometer – what you test everything on.”
As such, the pistachio paste will come from Bronte, a Sicilian village on the slopes of Mount Etna, where the nuts are known as “green gold”. The hazelnuts are from the hilly town of Langhe in Italy’s northern Piedmont region, which produces “superior characteristics in terms of sweetness, intense taste, aroma, persistence and shelf life”, according to Calabrese. He’ll also be using milk from the Fleurieu Peninsula, fresh fruit from local farmers, and coffee made in the stovetop macchinetta next door.
Another draw will be the gelato cakes, which can also be ordered for big group bookings in the restaurant. They’ll be made with layers of gelato and house-made sponge, coated with glaze or ganache and decorated with chocolate or fresh fruit.
The shop is going into Pizzateca’s former dry store, which previously housed its liquor, and will echo the restaurant’s signature colour scheme (with a darker forest green replacing the mint).
“As you walk in, you’ll see Andrea there, you’ll see all the flavours, the scoops, the coppas. So when you finish eating – or during eating – the kids can grab some ice-cream and go [eat] on the lawn,” says Tony. “That's what this is about – you can eat your pizza and then go to the gelati shop and sit on our little deck that we’ve built for it ... and enjoy some gelato on the way out – or grab a tub on the way home.”
Gelateca is waiting on final supplies to be delivered and before opening this spring.