Etna isn’t your typical neighbourhood pizzeria. Owners Lauren Smith and Andrea Gatti (who are also behind Fortitude Valley Italian spot Rosmarino) were inspired by boundary-pushing pizzerias in Italy such as Pepe in Grani in Caiazzo and I Masanielli in Caserta. To that end, the pizza here is a departure from the 90-second Napoli-style numbers that have become so popular across Australia over the past 10 years.
Smith and Gatti have eschewed woodfire for a Moretti Forni electric oven. It cooks bases handmade with wholemeal flour and executive chef Dario Manca’s seven-year-old sourdough starter. The result is an easy-to-digest base with a crisp crust that doesn’t flop like a traditional Napoli pizza.
What comes atop is a little different to your typical pizzeria, too. Classic margherita, capricciosa, mortadella pizzas are accompanied by more modern creations such as the Biarnca (manchego, cherry tomatoes, rocket, Black Angus bresaola, parmesan, olive oil), the Prosciutto Galloni (prosciutto di Parma, stracciatella, secret sauce, basil, olive oil, oregano), and a pumpkin-based Mantovana (fior di latte, taleggio, sausage, rosemary, parmesan, amaretti dust). There’s also a “Speciali” section that includes even more inventive styles.
To drink, there’s a 120-bottle wine list (backed by Rosmarino’s 450-bottle cellar) that ranges across Italy, with a particular focus on the wines of Sicily and Mount Etna. Also, a shorter selection from France, Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The list has a particularly robust selection of orange wines and pét-nat. Other drinks include a couple of beers, four cocktails, and a list of amari and vermouth.
Set within the heritage-listed, 1898-built Stewart & Hemmant building, Etna is a cosy space with seating for just 45 guests inside and in the old brick-lined back courtyard shared with Rosmarino. The fit-out is a warm combination of timber and terracotta tiles, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the street.
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