Maybe Frank Surry Hills
This restaurant’s name is inspired by old Vegas hotel posters advertising, “Dean Martin, maybe Frank [Sinatra], maybe Sammy [Davis Jnr]” referring to the latters’ reputation for arriving unannounced for Dean Martin shows. The “maybe” is the unexpected at a pizza restaurant, a good cocktail, the kind you’d expect from Eau de Vie or a Swillhouse venue. The Sophia, a delicately balanced, blush-coloured elixir of Cocchi Rosa, tequila, dry Spanish sherry and rose geranium, for example.
On the site once occupied by pizza pioneers Mario’s, this pizzeria is doing other things differently, too. The pizzaiolo, Alessandro Spadoni, is from Ferrara where the pizzas are cooked for longer under a lower temperature. That makes a slightly crunchy, firmer base lacking the doughy, blistered edge on a Neapolitan pizza.
There are 23 pizzas to choose from, two being the frutti di porko, with different cuts of pork, and the zucca with pumpkin, pancetta, mozzarella and rosemary, which is a specialty in Spadoni’s hometown. The rest of the menu is compact, with just a small selection of antipasti plates mixing Australian and Italian cheeses and meats, three pastas and three salads.
With a black-tiled column centrepiece, black furniture and a black ceiling contrasted against a glass façade and a wall mural from Jamie Preisz it feels casual, young and late-night.