Part of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is go through the lists of best pizzas in Sydney online and try every single one of them. This was our first stop.
Rosso Antico accepts no reservations but does takeaway, so if you cannot be bothered to wait too long, you can just get a box and go. We arrived early and managed to get a table after only about ten minutes.
We started with appetizers of Crocchette di patate, or fried potato croquettes with mozzarella, garlic & parsley and Olive con taleggio, or olives fried in breadcrumbs with taleggio cheese. You don’t see crumbed olives often, and these didn’t disappoint. Everything was crunchy and rather indulgent.
We followed this with a shared pasta with mussels, which while delicious wasn’t anything special. I think my local Italian can do this dish just as well.
Rosso Antico has billed itself as traditional Italian pizza, taking it back to its “original roots”. My experience with traditional pizza has always been - you have to like crust or you’re screwed. I am the kind of person that grew up leaving the ends of crust (granted it was Pizza Hut) , wasn’t into bread (sourdough changed my life as an adult, but that’s another story) and thus as an adult likes her pizza thin and crunchy. This is not that pizza. That is not to say that it wasn’t good, it’s just not the pizza I would default to.
The first pizza had two different cheeses (fior di latte & scamorza) and three kinds of mushrooms. I don’t think I’ve ever had scamorza before, it is according to google, a pear shaped cheese made the same way as mozarella but drier. I think the combination of cheese made it less rich - but that’s not a bad thing - and made it just the right level of gooey, meaning it still stretched off the plate but not so that it missed your mouth. (And yes, it was good, but I would suggest adding something to the mushrooms so it’s not just that.)
The second pizza was unique, in that it was this calzone where they folded only half of the pizza and left the other half out. This was the best dish of the night. Since my companions are not meat eaters, we asked for the meat to be replaced by anchovies, which they left on the outside so that they would cook properly and not affect the rolled portion.
And yes, I still left most of the crust but I enjoyed the pizza.
Right before we left, one of the guys came out from behind the counter to show us his pizza throwing skills. He did some breakdancing moves while throwing around some dough!
The verdict: Was the pizza good? Yes.
Will I be back? Yes, but I’m not going to rush and I will try other places first.
Was it worth being on a best pizza list? Ask me again after I’ve tried all the other pizzas!