Monday, November 19, 2007

Pizza e Birra

Relaunched by well pedigreed Mauro Marcucci, one of the founders of Cafe e Cuccina and part owner of Termini P e B occupies the front of the former St.Kilda railway station at 60A Fitzroy St.
He has installed a special wood fired oven and has an expert head Pizzaiolo, Giovanni Cristiano who comes from a family of several generations of Neapolitan pizziolas. Pictured below, next to him, is Silvana Iacobaccio, Mauro's business partner for Pizza e Birra.
Reasonable space for about 35 in an open room. The food offerings range through Pizze Antipasti, Salads and Sweets.
I enjoyed House cured salmon with ruby grapefruit and campari and vodka dressing

which was well balanced and blended well. The Gamberoni - grilled prawns with tomato and saffron salsa

was also tasty but rather a small serve for $17. I may have misjudged Mauro here as I was his guest to taste the food at the launch and the regular serve is probably larger.

Pizza's are thin crust, crisp and lightly spiced and the salads also show a light hand in their preparation.
Who can resist marinated strawberries , Gran Marnier and orange in this case, with mascarpone The wine list is not large but quite wide ranging and everything is available by the glass at very reasonable prices. Bottle prices largely $30 to $45
Apart from a variety of international beers they serve a local beer specially bottled by a boutique Gippsland brewery, 'Birra' a light ale with a slightly sweet background.

Pizza e Birra has an extremely popular sister cafe/restaurant in Sydney which is always crowded and is well placed to do well here too

Score 13.25/20


claire said...

Those Caffe e Cucina boys sure do get around... that house cured salmon looks sensational, Elliot! Lucky you to be a guest at the restaurant. Alas, such perks have not yet been accorded to me... :)

Nice to meet you last Monday,

grocer said...

I will be interested to hear how this place goes long term as you have a very different market to sydney - there are plenty of great thin crust pizza to be found in melbourne, whilst we are a little thin (or should i say thick - hahahahahahah!) on the ground here.

i have now eaten in the sydney venture several times and really enjoyed it. it's not cheap, especially not for pizza (i suspect the melbourne venture will be priced more in line with melbourne standards if it is to be successful) however one thing I did notice was the way the place is managed.

firstly the staff speak to each other in italian. not just the random "prego" and "grazie" to keep the sydney-siders fooled, but to each other - in fact to the exclusion of english.

the first time i went there was a one hour wait (apparently) and this was not of much appeal for us at the time. with a grazie and "we might just have a look around" they still noted our place in the queue in case we came back.

we did come back, as our back up option was also busy and a regular haunt for us. Not only did our place in the queue get recognised, but we were ushered in, in front of the rude surry hills fashionistas demanding they be seated pronto, etc...

this was a place that treated people differently, where a please and a thank you (albeit in my best italian) was recognised, where a skimpy set of hot pants and a fake tan didn't come trumps, and where once inside, you felt like you were in the cosiest corner of piazza navona (without the price tag)

i'm glad you enjoyed it because these guys have impressed me despite being a "fashionable reinvention" of the pizzeria, and i think it's a delight when nice people are successful