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Monday, August 06, 2012

Via Napoli, Lane Cove

cheesy pizza at via napoli lane cove

The one-metre pizza at Via Napoli isn’t just a pizza – it’s an edible catwalk, bubbling with molten mozzarella cheese and slightly smoky from the 90-second blast in the 485 degrees celsius domed wood-fired oven. Luigi Esposito, a third-generation pizzaioli – or pizza maker – arrived in Sydney four years ago and opened Via Napoli in November last year. His Naples-style pizzeria is all about keeping to tradition, using Neapolitan caputo flour for the dough, San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce and imported buffalo mozzarella and fior di latte mozzarella for the topping.

wood-fired oven at via napoli lane cove
The wood-fired oven at Via Napoli

It’s happily chaotic no matter when you go, filled with couples, families and hungry pizza-loving blokes perched around tables that line the foothpath. Service can be somewhat arbitrary, but it all seems part of the experience, along with genuinely thick Italian accents from waitstaff.

half-metre pizza at via napoli lane cove
Half-metre pizza $25-$40

There are 18 different pizza toppings on the menu – don’t even bother looking for ham and pineapple – including seven vegetarian options.

sicilian pizza with eggplant and mozzarella at via napoli lane cove
Siciliana pizza $20 / $40 / $60
Tomato, fior di latte, eggplant and parmesan

The Siciliana is a crowd favourite: thin slices of charred eggplant embedded in gooey mozzarella and a rich tomato sauce.

quattro formaggi four cheese pizza at via napoli lane cove
Quattro formaggi pizza $20 / $40 / $60
Four cheeses - fior di latte, gorgonzola, pecorino and parmigiano on a white base

Purists will stick with the Margherita (tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and olive oil); gluttons will head straight for the quattro formaggi cheesefest –mozzarella, gorgonzola, pecorino and parmigiano all melted together in a fist-pumping triumph for lactose lovers.

broccoli rapa with sausage and mozzarella pizza at via napoli lane cove
Salsiccia e cime di rapa $20 / $40 / $60
Fior di latte, sausage, broccoli rapa and chilli on a white base

But it’s the salsiccia e cime di rapa that is the winner of the day: nubbins of pork sausage scattered with florets of broccoli rabe that are mesmerisingly bitter.

making pizza at via napoli lane cove
Assembling our one-metre pizza

You can choose up to three toppings on the one-metre pizza ($40-$60). If you haven’t brought your local football team to eat with you, the 13-inch round ($16-$20) and half-metre ($25-$40) pizzas provide more modest portions.

wood-fired oven at via napoli lane cove
Via Napoli kitchen with the one-metre pizza takeaway boxes beneath the counter

one-metre pizza via napoli lane cove
Delivering a one-metre pizza

one-metre pizza via napoli lane cove
One metre of pizza $60
(iPhone and fork placed deliberately for scale!)

wood-fired pizza base at via napoli lane cove
Checking out the upskirt - crisp and smokily charred

slicing pizza at via napoli lane cove
Slicing up a half-metre pizza 

polenta chips with gorgonzola at via napoli lane cove
Polenta and gorgonzola $15

Mix things up with fried polenta ($15) – crunchy planks of gold that are even better dipped into gorgonzola sauce.

smoked mozzarella at via napoli lane cove
Scamorza al forno $12

Scamorza al forno ($12) – smoked mozzarella melted in the woodfired oven draped over with shavings of speck – is also a winner.

melted smoked mozzarela cheese at via napoli lane cove
Melted cheeeeeeeeese 

smallgoods at via napoli lane cove

Check out the smallgoods fridge too. Staff will assemble your choice of charcuterie, including salamis, prosciutto and melt-in-the-mouth whispers of lardo.

slicing lardo at via napoli lane cove
Slicing lardo cured pork fat

charcuterie plate at via napoli lane cove
Charcuterie plate $20

charcuterie plate with lardo at via napoli lane cove
Lardo love

tiramisu dessert at via napoli lane cove
Tiramisu $6

The tiramisu is so fresh it hadn't quite set when we ordered it at lunchtime, but it's still a deliciously creamy and boozed-up concoction.

ricotta cake dessert at via napoli lane cove
Ricotta cake $8

And despite sharing a metre of pizza and more, we order a wedge of ricotta cake and wipe the plate clean.

salami at via napoli lane cove

View Larger Map
Via Napoli Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Via Napoli Pizzeria
Shop 3, 141 Longueville Road, Lane Cove, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9428 3297

Opening hours:
Lunch Thursday to Sunday 12pm-3pm
Dinner Wednesday to Monday 5pm-10pm

Closed Tuesdays

This article appeared in the July 2012 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online

More Time Out Sydney reviews:
Akash Pacific Cuisine, Liverpool (Fiji Indian cuisine) 
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Bamiyan, Five Dock (Afghani cuisine)
Battambang, Cabramatta (Deep fried pork intestines)
Cyprus Community Club Aphrodite Restaurant (Roast baby goat) 
Dos Senoritas, Gladesville (Mexican street-style tacos) 
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African cuisine)
Everest Kitchen, Marrickville (Nepali cuisine)
Good Kitchen, Hurstville (Hong Kong cafe)
Hai Au Lang Nuong, Canley Vale (Vietnamese banana leaf charcoal chicken)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)

Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
Kambozza, Parramatta (Burmese cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Mario Tokyo Pizza, Strathfield (Bulgogi Korean pizza)
Misky Cravings, Fairfield (Peruvian cuisine)
Olka Polka Bakery & Deli, Campbelltown (Polish cheesecake and rye bread)
Rhinedorf German Restaurant, Beverly Hills (German pork knuckle)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)

Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Taipei Chef, Artarmon (Taiwanese smoked chicken)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
16 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/06/2012 02:02:00 am


  • At 8/06/2012 7:19 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    I do love a bit of Neapolitan-style pizza and this one looks burnished and puffed enough to make me want to venture over to the northside. The charcuterie looks especially good.

  • At 8/06/2012 7:34 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Talk about some serious hot stuff! A 485 degrees blast heater is crazy!

  • At 8/06/2012 8:28 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    mmm eat ALL the cheese!

  • At 8/06/2012 8:53 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    As someone who has been known to microwave cheese and eat it straight from the plate (what? No, I don't do that. I'M FAR TOO SOPHISTICATED FOR THAT), this looks like my kind of pizza.

  • At 8/06/2012 9:37 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    Edible catwalk! I love it!

  • At 8/06/2012 10:09 am, Blogger Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    The pizza resembles of those in italy. It's all about the dough with minimal toppings. Looks great. Those cured meats look so sexy ;)

  • At 8/06/2012 10:10 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Oh, glorious cheese and oversized pizza...!

  • At 8/06/2012 10:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello. Just a tip: if you close your aperture a bit, you'll get more of the food in focus (blurring out a lot of the shot does look great, but you do still need to be able to see what the photo is of) and the shots won't be so overexposed (the ricotta cake is barely visible). Good work on the review.

  • At 8/06/2012 11:10 am, Blogger Jacq said…

    mmm so much cheeeeeeese! I can't believe I didn't even know this place existed when it's so close to home!

  • At 8/06/2012 6:44 pm, Anonymous L said…

    That is amazing looking pizza!

  • At 8/06/2012 8:23 pm, Blogger K said…

    AWESOME photos as always!
    I can't wait to go back. Even if I have to suffer the excessive lactose intake.:D

  • At 8/06/2012 9:37 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    My stomach is having delusions of grandeur thinking a 1M pizza is totally doable. No?

  • At 8/08/2012 12:13 pm, Anonymous paula said…

    Hi Helen
    I really wanted to pin this page to a board I have for places to eat at next. It will not let me, just wondering if it you have chosen to block from pinterest?

  • At 8/09/2012 4:32 pm, Blogger sugarpuffi said…

    the scamorza al forno looks amazing with stringy cheeeeeeese~!!

  • At 8/10/2012 3:52 pm, Blogger Anna said…

    Good to see a proper classic margarita pizza (i.e. just with fresh basil, and NO dried oregano!) So impressed they have 7 vego options - just added this to my list of places to eat at in the near future! x

  • At 8/12/2012 11:32 pm, Anonymous Vivian - vxdollface said…

    Ooh gooey mozza and shaved speck :9 doesn't get more comforting than that!


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