So long Sojourn; Duke’s Lane’s also gone bye-bye – but this time it’s been replaced by something the good burghers of Balmain might really want!
Recently renovated, like much of the suburb, the centrepiece is the imported Alfa wood-fire oven; well manned by the stylish cappello-clad owner, Ervin Mahilaj. He might be young, but he’s got a whole lot of pizza-making experience in both Italy and Haberfield.
His unique and well-balanced Cappello Pizza ($22.50) with juicy Josephine pear, Italian prosciutto, Gorgonzola, rocket and Parmesan is a masterpiece. The tasty, slightly smoky crust comes from all-day proofing and a fast (just over a minute) 400 degree Celsius cook! It’s nicely complemented by a fruity, sweet and sour 2008 Falanghina Sannio ($40) from the inexpensive, Italian (or else) wine list.
The broader menu is simple and well handled. Begin with a pretty plate of Capesante alle Siciliana ($20) scallops with orange, fennel and a flavour-boosting bisque.
Filetto al Porcini ($30) proves a lovely piece of fillet on crisp, tasty potatoes with delicate porcini cream.
Add a big bowl of Insalata di Campagna ($10.50) with pumpkin, baby pine nuts and robust spinach, and you might still squeeze in the Panna Cotta ($12)...
...a vivid ‘strawberry and cream’ delight!
They've even given the good ol' Aussie pavlova an Italian renovation in their Pavlova with Poached Pear ($13). It's surrounded by a pretty lake of red wine poaching liquid and sprinkled with toasted almonds, making it much less sweet! I'll definitely be revisiting this one again to try out more of their excellent pizza menu... simple, tasty and just like they make 'em in Italy.
79 Darling Street, Balmain
Ph: (02) 9555 1333