If you’re familiar with the Roman dialect, you might have an inkling of what this pizzeria is all about. Translated as “great” in Latin, Magna makes authentic Roman pizzas: thin, crusty, almost crunchy bases, and pungent toppings, compared to the more ubiquitous Napoli offerings.
Owners Brad Ness and Giovanna Bontempi know a thing or too about Italy’s capital. Giovanna is a native of Rome, and Brad spent 13 years there, while another couple from Rome produce the bases. More authenticity points: ingredients such as prosciutto and mozzarella are imported from Italy, and the pizzas are named for Roman imperial times.
The signature Magna is like a luxury Meat Lover’s, with its mix of lamb, beef, pork and chicken, and a special homemade pesto with a hint of smoky barbecue. Vegetarians opt for the Jordana, topped with eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts. And admittedly less traditional – but every bit as tasty – is the sweet-and-savoury Nutella strawberry pizza.
Housed in The Mantle, an open-plan dining area in a converted warehouse, Magna looks minimal but rustic, with sleek polished wood and indoor plants.
Sticky liquor-licensing laws mean you can’t enjoy a cocktail from neighbour Alter Ego while you eat your pizza. But BYO is permitted. Phew.