Matteo is in the space that used to be Limoncello, a much-loved family pizza restaurant. But it’s more stylish than the neighbourhood original, and it’s by Eddie Levy (Lobo Plantation) and Adam Abrams (Darlo Country Club), and Limoncello’s former chef, Orazio D’Elia Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, Popolo.
The dough here is doppio lievitazione – proved twice, so there's no yeast content. It's perfectly light and elastic. The rest of the menu includes pizza-supporting food: simple dishes and pastas. But one of the menu’s showstoppers is the salt-encrusted snapper, which is cracked open at your table.
D’Elia is a proud southern Italian and it comes across on the menu with Amalfi-style, parsley-infused scialatielli (long, square-sided pasta) with forest mushrooms and ricotta.
Aperitivo in the front courtyard involves snacks and a modern Italian drinks list led by a selection of different spritzes. There will also be a DJ playing music.
The idea behind almost everything is recreating the same vibe Limoncello had. Besides for the fit-out, which, thanks to interior designer Ian Nessick, is much more stylish. There are stained, stone tables and a long marble bench at the bar. And the entire venue has been rendered and repainted to look more like the outside of a Greek villa.
A recipe from Matteo is featured in The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook. Buy your copy at shop.broadsheet.com.au.