There was a five-month delay in opening the new A25. But the offending ventilation system, responsible for this espresso bar and pizzeria’s false start, isn’t getting owner Remo Nicolini (ex +39 Pizzeria and Itali.co) down.
This is the third A25 pizza restaurant – it follows on from one in Docklands (formerly Non Solo Pasta) and South Yarra. The city version will open in a couple of weeks on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Hardware Lane.
“Pizza is our mantra, it’s what we do,” says Nicolini. “But we’re taking it to another level, introducing a different dough as a special every week, and different fermentation methods. We’re making sure that our pizzas are getting lighter and lighter, and trying to get away from the stigma that pizza is fast food and not good for you.” The menu is similar to that at the other A25 venues. Favourite pizzas, such as the Bunga Bunga (tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, porcini mushroom, parsley and parmesan), and Ink (a squid-ink pizza base with tiger prawns and calamari), remain.
Nicolini refuses to become “stuck in the Napolitano mentality” that frowns upon the non-traditional. Where he grew up, in Pescara, Abruzzo, the best-selling pizza at his family’s restaurant was ham and pineapple. They even had one called “The Australian” with bacon and eggs.
There will also be house-made pasta (look out for the beetroot tortelli) and speedy breakfasts, featuring paninis and brekkie bruschettas. Booze is a mostly Italian line-up, including a beer, a red, a white and a rose on tap, alongside 15 Italian craft beers. With 50 seats inside and 50 outside, A25 is a relaxed place to grab a Dukes coffee on the way to work and a wine on the way home.
A25 CBD will open on May 12.