Brisbane isn’t short on excellent pizza joints. Beccofino, Julius, Neighbourhood, Salt Meats Cheese, Tartufo, Sorellina, Coppa Spuntino, Pizzeria Violetta and Little G all flip slices in a variety of authentic styles. But what about Roman pizza?
West End’s Lupa Pizza Bar peddles what it calls a Roman-style of pizza but Stefano Bagnoli is more interested in Pizza in teglia (“pizza in tray”), an easier-to-make, serve and eat pizza. Bagnoli reckons it’s the best way to have it, so he teamed up with owners Simon Barakat (Il Verde, The Defiant Duck) and Dimity Holland to open Prego Pizzeria on Racecourse Road in Ascot.
“I’m a pizza chef since I was 20 or 21 years old,” Bagnoli says. “This kind of pizza is a new product in Brisbane, which is why I decided to try it. It comes from Rome, my home city, and it’s just in Rome. You can travel around Italy but find it only in Rome.”
The eatery itself is tiny, occupying the former tenancy of the local Pizza Capers. There are a couple of tables in the subway-tiled indoor space, but most punters will likely find themselves outside on the astroturfed front porch. Otherwise, there’s plenty of wood and an eye-catching, puntastic neon sign that reads, “You Wanna Pizza Me?”
The slices themselves are generous, about 300 grams, and designed to be affordable. The menu is divided into tomato-based Pizze Rosse and tomato-free Pizze Bianche, with all bases made on-site. Toppings feature porcini mushrooms, various cheeses and cured meats made in Australia, and an Italian fennel sausage mixed in-house. There’s also a clutch of antipasto options and salads that toss together Australian and Italian ingredients.
Bagnoli has hopes of filling out a more extensive menu in the future. “I’m an Italian guy, I want everything to be full of food,” he says, laughing. “More toppings, more flavours. Pasta! Lasagne!”
There’s a range of wines and beers available by the bottle. Three tap beers will soon come on-stream, including Menabrea from Northern Italy and a local pick.
Shop 1/53 Racecourse Road, Hamilton
(07) 3630 0010
Mon to Fri 11.30am–2.30pm and 5–9pm
Sat & Sun 11.30am–10pm