Sunday, April 22, 2007

RESTAURANT: Pizza e Birra

Type: Italian
Location: 500 Crown St, Surry Hills
Rooking Required: No bookings. Tends to get busy later in the evening.

Next step on the Surry Hills odyssey is the well-regarded Pizza e Birra.

Combining traditional, delicious pizza with Australian-style beer at a good price in a nice location sounded too good to be true. But it really wasn’t.

We entered the gorgeously renovated warehouse with dim lighting before the late evening rush and headed to our table with a more than healthy appetite.

A big stumble at the start of the evening with the waiters taking the order of tables that came in after us before ours, forcing us to wait for a while. But once we got past that the rest of the evening went smoothly.

A good menu combining all of the elements of Italian food: pizza, pasta, seafood, wine. But we were here for the pizza. Good wine list too. Some good local and Italian choices with a bit of a mark up. But we weren’t there for the wine. It’s all about the house beer.

We kicked things off with the perfect starter. An antipasto plate piled with cheese, bread and cured meat. I was concerned that because this place is fairly cheap they might skimp on the quality of their ingredients, but everything on the plate was good.

Great pizza too. The Proscuitto comes topped with plenty of slices of the meat, shaved parmesean and rocket. It’s a simple topping that I’ve had a few times before, but Pizze e Birra really nail it. Tried a couple of the others and they were also impressive. The bases are perfectly crisp when you bite into them, but aren’t TOO crispy or chewy like many other places that claim to be authentic.

The house beer (simply called ‘Birra’) isn’t bad. An Australian pale ale with some good fruity flavours and a lot of hops. Unfortunately a fair bit of sediment too. But you have to give them credit for at least having a house beer.

Finished off with the tiramisu, the yardstick for every Italian restaurant. Here it is pulled off very well. Also a nice Belgian chocolate torte with cognac custard on the menu that holds its own.

A good very nice evening at a very good price. While the service was a little sporadic, the food is fantastic and the pizza is some of the best I’ve ever had.

RATING: Will return to

Pizza E Birra on Urbanspoon

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