Aperitivo has been my local pizza joint for more than a decade. It’s a large restaurant with two levels of indoor dining plus outdoor dining street-side and in a rear courtyard, so they were particularly well equipped to implement NSW Health’s current social distancing instructions and keep plenty of space between diners earlier in the week.
Aperitivo also send out pizza delivering via platforms like UberEats, though you can ensure all your money goes into supporting your local guy (rather than a corporate giant) by talking a walk to pick up your pizza yourself (while we still can).
If the (now gloved up) and talented Francesco Spataro doesn’t have your pizza ready when you arrive, keep your distance by pulling up outside with a Rosemary Negroni ($16), or a North Meets South ($17) that switches out the Cinzano Rosso for reposado tequila and bitters.
You can also drink in support of Lombardy, the Italian region hardest hit by that country’s coronavirus outbreak, with the 2014 Tenuta Mazzolino Blanc Oltrepo Pavese ($73/bottle). It's an easy-drinking, elegant Chardonnay with a whisper of wood that's only really there if you look for it.
While dishes like Fiori di Zucchina ($16) – zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh riotta dragged through a bright tomato coulis - aren’t going to be at their best inside steamy plastic, there are other entrees that should make the transition well.
Mozzarella in Carrozza ($16) are deep-fried cheese and ‘ndjua sandwiches wrapped in pillowy soft battered bread. I reckon (once you’ve availed yourself of Aperitivo's on-counter hand sanitiser) you could gobble them down on the walk home.
Salads, like the Insalata di Endive ($16), with creamy gorgonzola dolce, teamed with bitter Belgian endive, rocket, pear and a delicate honey dressing, will also travel well.
I’m nuts about Spatoro’s hand-made pork sausage, and I’ve been trying to up my greens through this health crisis, so I hit up a pizza special involving pork sausage and Italian broccoli. Fiarielli & Salsiccia ($24) has the usual tasty, blistered base I’ve come to expect from all Italian pizza I eat, along with a sparing topping of wilted greens and fragrant and tasty pork sausage, bound by fior di latte mozzarella (creamy cow milk cheese).
Fired in a ceramic container, the Crème Brulee ($12) might be out of reach until we’re allowed to eat out again. Aperitivo make a clever twist with little mounds of tart stewed rhubarb balanced on top of a slightly thicker burnt sugar top. With perfect vanilla custard, it’s something we can all look forward to cracking into once this crisis is over and done.
NOTE: You can see previous reviews for this venue back HERE and HERE.
163 Norton Street, Leichhardt
Ph: (02) 9564 0003