“American pizzas tend to range in size from 18 inches to 22 inches and we’re 24 inches, so it’s absolutely enormous,” says Danny Cirone, whose new eatery Duke Pizza is making some of the biggest pizzas in the city.
Cirone owns the recently opened Elizabeth Street spot with Nick Hanson and Heath McGeough. The site previously housed Cirone’s five-year-old catering business with Hanson, until the pair decided to move away from catering a year ago. A trip to the US had inspired Cirone to begin a pizza shop, bringing America’s famous supersized pies to Australia.
“We began playing with dough and looking into ovens,” says Cirone, who spent nearly a year perfecting Duke Pizza’s dough to strike a balance between American and Italian-style pizzas.
Delivery was also intended to account for most of Duke Pizza’s business, so it was important the pizzas travelled well.
“We’ve really put the hard work in to ensure the pizza is crunchy and fresh when you get it home and not limp and soggy,” says Cirone. “The 48-hour cold fermentation process requires minimal yeast too, so it’s easier to digest and kinder to the body.”
Pizzas come in two sizes: a 13-inch or 24-inch, the latter of which comes in an enormous 64-centimetre-wide box.
“The 24-inch is essentially five times the weight in dough and toppings of a standard large pizza,” says Cirone.
Choose between 22 varieties, including the Grow a Pair, topped with house-made meatballs that have been slow-cooked for six hours, or the Mr Wolf, with cherry tomatoes, rosemary and red onion topped with a seven-hour braised lamb shoulder. For those stopping in for a quick lunch or dinner, Duke offers pizza by the slice, in up to six toppings that rotate weekly. There are also two kinds of sauce – buttermilk ranch and pickled mayo – to dip your crusts in.
Much of the cheese comes from That’s Amore, and organic flour comes from Wholegrain Milling Co in Gunnedah in New South Wales.
While the shop is predominantly takeaway (you can get delivery within a three-kilometre radius), there is an option to dine in, American-style. That is, stand at the bar by the window, or nab one of just eight chairs.
Stop by on Tuesday night for $5 slices, and 24-inch pizzas for $39 on a Tuesday night.
1/660 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
(03) 9048 4810
Tue & Wed 5pm–11pm
Thu & Fri 12pm–11pm
Sat & Sun 5pm–11pm