John Lanzafàme’s Pork Belly Pizza ($20) with sweet and sour onion and radicchio is very well balanced, with a wafer thin, crisp base.
It outdoes a similar version I had at Hugo’s Bar Pizza (where John once worked as Executive Chef). Does it live up to the website claim - world's best pizza - well, I guess it depends upon the style of pizza you prefer. I actually reckon my next review tops it... but you'll have to wait and see! Do note that John has won so many gongs for best pizza, he's now not allowed to enter; though he participates as a judge I'm told.
His Meatballs ($18) are better than average too; with three intensely seasoned, roughly minced pork and veal mounds set off by a lightly cooked, sweetish cherry tomato sugo. I note that he does not provide salt or pepper on the table (they will if you ask) at this time... not that the dish needs it.
I’m not even a meatball aficionado; but I do love pig. So it’s only with slight guilt that I also relay that the Pork Belly with Pear and Basil Casserole ($28) contains perfectly rendered slices of pork belly, hunks of well-cooked potato and tender pear dressed in a compelling brown sauce that’s finished by clarified butter.
Add a bowl of Pappardelle with Braised Duck Casserole ($22) with in-house pasta made with half semolina (both tasty and textural), and you have a mighty satisfying modern trattoria-style meal. So sue me for skipping the Nutella and Banana Calzone ($16).
I did enjoy the Australian/Italian wine list though - an Albino Armani Prosecco ($14/glass, $45/bottle) is a clean beginning; and the 2009 Campagnola Soave Le Bine ($12/glass, $55/bottle) also from Veneto, is an easy-drinking mainstay.
Brave the William Street barrier for good, honest food, pizzas and park-ability. Or at least keep your eyes peeled for his next book (out in November 2010) called Family Italian. It's chock full of things you'd actually cook... like a grilled Gorgonzola and Celeriac Salad, and tasty Prosciutto Fritters. Matter of fact, I might keep my eye out for it myself...
88 Crown Street, Woolloomooloo
Ph: (02) 9331 8881 www.worldsbestpizza.com.au