“We take pizza seriously.” Says Filippo Franchi. “Time and patience are very important.”
The owner of Paddington’s Italian Bar, alongside brother and executive chef Simone Franchi, hails from Italy. “Our mother is from Sardinia, our father from Tuscany, so we try to take a little influence from both and include it in our menu.”
After running pizza catering service Pizza Party for the last six years, Italian Bar is the brothers’ first restaurant venture.
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“We wanted to bring to Australia our concept of a bar. We don’t just invite you to come here and drink. This is a place where you can have espresso, a quick bite, a pannino, an aperitivo, or dinner, listen to some music, then yes, perhaps have some more drinks.”
The all-Italian drinks list features some hidden gems, and of course classics like the Aperol Spritz are readily available.
Aperitivo in hand, start simple with a plate of finely sliced pancetta, Sardinian pecorino, salami and green olives, or try carpaccio di bottarga; a southern Italian delicacy of sea salt-cured fish roe, dried and served sliced with fennel, zucchini and a lemon vinaigrette.
When it comes to pizza, “We think less is more,” says Franchi. “Less ingredients, but more care. My brother is the master of the pizza dough. He allows it to rise for 24 hours and cooks it on a stone base. We keep the toppings light, but we use only the very best.”
Toppings might include fior di latte with eggplant and parmesan, or Sardinian pork sausage with mushroom, mozzarella and truffle oil. Desserts like affogato or tiramisu may not push any culinary boundaries but are executed well. All pizzas are also available gluten-free.