Back in the day, oh those heady whirling big Sydney daze, Pizza Mario used to be about twenty meters away, in the Republic 2 court yard. It was the best not only because it was one of the best but with minimal effort we could be eating fantastic pizza in the very stylish and comfortable surrounding of our own home, without any of the pitfalls that usually accompany travelled food.
We returned to find they had moved location (maybe they needed a new market after we left) up into the restaurant farm that is Surry hills. (seriously how many eateries can you fit in one burb?) When we met up out the front I was a little minty, no hon seriously my hair cut will only take two hours....... ........ ....... but that all melted away as the woody, smokey pizza aromas wafted around us as we walked in past the open kitchen with its wood fired oven, piled fire wood and hanging meats.
Seated we look over the specials board, a little sad to see a couple of choices we would have gone for already sold out but still we manage to secure a plate of fried zucchini flowers. Served simply on brown paper the flowers are stuffed with seasoned ricotta, mmm crunchy and cheesy, we balanced it out with a simple butter lettuce and tomato salad.
Followers and card carrying members of the associazione vera pizza napoletana, the pizzas all have traditional toppings, there's no variations, no pineapple, you won't find your chicken tikka pizza here, be off with you, a pox on you I say.
We order one pizza with Gorgonzola and radicchio and the other with salami and olives, but we made the amateur mistake of ordering two white pizzas, and not realizing until they were delivered to the table, oh well they were still both as good as we remembered the pizzas to be.
The Gorgonzola's salt playing well with the radicchios bite.
The salami splashed with a little, OK, a lot of chilli oil (there's no chilli addicts anonymous, so there's no problem)
We rounded off the night with a little something something from the sweeter selections, a scoop of fantastic hazelnut and pannacotta gelato and stewed rhubarb with marscapone over the top of some crumbled savoiardi biscuits. Both winners on the night.
Who knows when our travels will bring us back to Sydney again, but when they do we'll find Marios in whatever neighborhood they've moved to.
@ St Magarets
Shop 9, 417-421 Bourke st
Surry Hills, NSW
Tel : 9332 3633
Take away : 9332 3320
Open 7 nights, closed public holidays