Monday, November 23, 2009

Pizza e Birra

Pizza e Birra
Shop 1, 500 Crown St
Surry Hills 2010 NSW
Phone: (02) 9332 2510

Mon-Wed 6pm-10pm
Thu-Sun noon-11pm

I had a hankering. A hankering for pizza.

A plan to meet a friend for lunch in Surry Hills provided me with the perfect opportunity to suggest, since we were going to be in the area, a trip to Pizza e Birra, since said friend had never eaten there.

At this favourite Surry Hills local, pizzas are made in the traditional Neapolitan style and the chairs are the Thonet (pronounced "Tone-eT" with a hard beginning and ending t) Model 14 bentwood (Konsumstuhl Nr. 14 - "coffee shop chair no. 14"). Designed by Michael Thonet in the 1859, this design classic is currently manufactured as Model 214.

It was not just the design of the chair that was revolutionary in 1859, but also the distribution concept. 36 disassembled chairs could be packed in a single box and sent anywhere in the world, to be assembled on site.

The Thonet 14 consists of only six components (plus a few nuts and screws), and the design has remained virtually unchanged since it was first manufactured.  The word "iconic", I would argue, is much overused these days, but this chair is both iconic and transendent of fashion. It was awarded gold at the 1867 World Fair, again in Paris in 1855. It is estimated that some 50 million of them have been produced to date.

Thonet are clearly popular in Australia, as they have five offices. The one in Sydney is in fact not too far away from Pizza e Birra.

Complimentary bread and olive oil
First up came the shared entree.

Asparagi e Proscuitto ($22)

Described as "green asparagus topped with Spanish proscuitto and finished with Ricotta shavings", this was a case of quality products being put together simply with a quality result. It was a classic combination executed perfectly, and served in a generous size.

Pizza Margherita ($20)

Perhaps I am a pizza philistine, but my natural tendency is to order the pizza with anything chilli/ piccante on it. I don't know what it is about a chilli and pizza combination that gets my mouth watering, but to order something as simple as a Margherita is the exception for me. However, as I was sharing, I acceded to Lunch Companion's suggestion. I mean we were in a Neopolitan pizza place after all!

As was the case with the Asparagus & Proscuitto, the pizza was a raging success, the mozzarella and tomato tasting as they should, and working happily together.  I know that there are no rules for this type of thing, but when eating Pizza Magherita I enjoy having a leaf of basil for each slice, so that I don't have to mull over whether to be generous and give the other person basil priority, or to simply take it for myself.....

PS : Pizza e Birra don't have a website, which surprises me. I hope that at some point in the near future they put one up, as they serve a very useful role and are increasingly the norm rather than the exception, for restaurants.

PPS : I clearly hadn't manage to totaly satiate my pizza cravings, as a week later, I and my friend were having another pizza.....



Reemski said...

my local pizza joint! I'm working my way through the menu slowly!

The Sydney Tarts said...
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