What a shock! Not only is it 2016 but we're well into mid-January. How did this happen? Wasn't Christmas just last week? This is my first post relating to a 2016 restaurant experience. I was in a funk over the new year period... maybe it was work-related or maybe it's just me. In any case, I just didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. One evening, Marc took initiative and dragged me out of the house for dinner. It turned out to be just the right thing to kick some life back into me.
We had a booking for Saturday night, which I cannot stress highly enough. This restaurant is small and I doubt you can get a weekend table without a booking. If takeaway is an option, then by all means order that but if you want to sit and eat, ring ahead and book.
The focus of the room is an open kitchen with a dominating pizza oven in full view. I had a lot of fun watching the chefs kneed, flip, top their dough and finally place the pizzas into the oven on long wooden paddles. It was hypnotizing. I respect any restaurant that has an open kitchen because I feel this shows confidence in their skills and cleanliness. Most of the staff spoke to each other in Italian, which added an air of authenticity. I was happily reminded of our holiday in Italy, which remains some of the happiest weeks in my entire life.
Marc chose a bottle of red for the table. To me, pizza and red wine go hand in hand. I can't have pizza without wine. It's such a missed opportunity.
In terms of food, we decided to chose a pizza each. I left the choice of entree to Marc and he selected the rosemary and garlic bread, which turned out to be another pizza-like dish. In essence, we ate 3 pizzas between the 2 of us. We finished every last bite so there's no complaints from me but in the future we'll choose something more varied as a starter.
Nonna's rosemary and garlic bread
The garlic bread definitely got our appetites going. There was a lovely rosemary aroma and just the right amount of garlicky twang. I decided then and there that rosemary was my favourite herb. My only criticism is that it was fairly dry and maybe could have benefited from some kind of dip? Is that very un-Italian of me to suggest?
Special no 1 - with tomato sauce, mozarella, ham, fried eggplant, provola and basil
My pizza of choice was one of the specials of the day, which comprised of fried eggplant and ham. I was in an eggplanty mood and it was either going to be this or the vegetarian pizza. Marc (an avid carnivore) convinced me to go for the option with ham. I really enjoyed this pizza. The base was perfection (soft but crispy and charred) and the toppings were juicy and full of flavour. The eggplant cubes burst with deliciousness in the mouth and the lashings of mozarella oozed with every bite.
Diavoloa - with tomato sauce, mozarella, hot 'inferno' salame and basil
Marc's pizza of choice was the 'Diavoloa' which featured hot salami. I tried a slice of his and declared that it was indeed very hot. Spice lovers will definitely be a fan of this topping. Marc was in heaven.
Lick! gelati to finish the night
Even though we literally polished off 3 entire pizzas, I heard myself asking for the dessert menu. We ended up choosing the gelato, which I wasn't sure if I should mention because it's not an in-house Pizzeria Violetta product. They stock 'Lick!' gelato, which I soon learned was very tasty. I chose the macadamia praline flavour whilst Marc went for burnt caramel. Both were ace.
You can probably tell from this rave review that Pizzeria Violetta will become a regular for us. We loved every aspect of our visit from the food itself to authentic ambiance and service. It definitely earns bonus points for being licensed for wine. I can't wait to go back and try more flavours.