Lodged in the former Gusto Ristorante site on The Parade, Norwood, this 400 Gradi is the brand’s first Australian restaurant outside Victoria.
Founder and chef Johnny Di Francesco started making pizzas when he was 12 and opened his first pizza shop at 18. In 2014 his margherita was named the world’s best at the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championships).
Di Francesco’s pizza adhere to the strict rules of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, widely considered the world authority on traditional Neapolitan pizza making.
At his Adelaide restaurant two Italian-imported wood ovens, which fire house-made dough for 90 seconds at 400 degrees (400 gradi), take pride of place. In the dining room there’s a polished-concrete floor, terrazzo tables and bench tops and a salumi cabinet. It’s a striking first restaurant design for Melbourne firm Dean Dyson Architects.
The 110-seater is smaller than Di Francesco’s Melbourne restaurants, which allows the menu to change more frequently. Beyond the star margherita, crowd favourites which aren’t likely to leave the menu include the mozzarella-stuffed arancini balls; polpette al sugo (meatballs with Napoli sauce); and ricotta-topped gnocchi made on-site. Of 70-odd listed wines, most are South Australian.