The Italian Bar Pizza
Despite being a conservative, family-dense suburb, Willoughby has embraced this progressive spot by Daniel and Michela Sofo of Firefly. While many suburban Italian restaurants remain stubbornly traditional, The Italian caters to everyone, including vegans and those with strict dietary requirements.
Daniel has perfected his pizza toppings and bases, which come as stone-ground, gluten-free or charcoal. The charcoal base is unique to Sydney. It’s made from an ancient wheat variety, khorasan, which is great for pizza-lovers who feel bloated by regular wheat bases. The Porco Bianco pizza, with prosciutto and truffle oil, works well with the stone-ground sourdough base.
Pasta dishes take a backseat here, but the fried gnocchi with three-hour slow-cooked lamb is a solid main. The Porcini Patate pizza, with porcini mushrooms, potato and notzarella (a soybean and coconut oil cheese substitute) is one of a number of substantial vegan options.
Wooden furniture and exposed brick under warm light give the space an intimate tone. There are numerous seating options, including diner-style benches and bar seating, suitable for crowds and couples.
The Sofos are properly into wine and the list's organic and minimal-intervention drops have been meticulously picked.