Mel and Federico are more than just the owners of Etica Pizzeria on Gilles Street. They are the heart and soul, the passion, the friendly smile and the warm welcome. They are the reason I keep going back. That, and the fact that the pizza they serve truly is some of the most amazing pizza you can find in Adelaide.
Etica: Ethical Pizzeria e mozzarella bar stands for just that. With a fierce passion and belief in the ethical treatment of animals, all the food that Mel and Federico serve is made using the most ethically available food in Australia. The other really obvious points to their name… Pizza and mozzarella. And that is the point where mouths start watering.
You know they are serious about their pizza because the first thing you see when you walk from the outdoor courtyard and into the cosy, narrow restaurant is the amazing pizza oven. The oven itself is a masterpiece. But every masterpiece needs an artist. In this case, Ettore, the Napoli born ‘pizzaiola’ (that’s pizza maker in Italian for those playing at home) is like the Picasso of pizza.
Having been welcomed into the restaurant like a family member and offered a seat, we got comfortable and settled in for a night of epic food. We ordered some drinks and perused the menu, knowing exactly what we were there for. Having not been to our favourite in a while, there was absolutely no doubt that pizza would be the pick of the night.
Although pizza does rule the menu, there are several other options. From delightful starters such as warm olives, a share plate and of course the infamous buffalo mozzarella, which is flown especially from Melbourne within 24 hours of being made, there are also some delicious and fresh salads and a pasta option.
But pizza is what we had come for, so pizza is what we got! I opted for the always reliable and exceptionally tasty Margherita Extra – D.O.P San Marzano tomato, mozzarella di bufala, olive oil, basil and sea salt. Simple perfection.
The boyfriend opted for the meatier option (typical). The Salame – D.O.P San Marzano tomato, fior di latte and salame.
After about 15 minutes of drinking and chatting, our piping hot, fresh out of the oven pizzas were placed in front of us. From that point the only thing coming out of our mouths was the sentence, “Can’t talk, eating”. And the only thing going in was piece after piece of the most delicious pizza. That says it all really.
Unfortunately I haven’t ever made it to Italy (I am coming for you one day Italia), however, I can imagine that this is exactly how pizza tastes in Italy. This is real pizza. Which actually might not be to everyone’s taste, but seriously give it a go before you decide. The base, ultra thin, the crust, doughy and soft, the tomato sauce, sweet with a slight tang, the toppings, simple but flavourful, and the cheese, well the cheese is just heavenly.
A lot of things combine to make this pizza experience better than… ahhh well almost. The wood oven gives the pizza a beautiful woody flavour, the use of only the freshest, in season and ethically sourced ingredients, the fact that an Italian is making your Italian pizza, the dough has been made lovingly over 30 hours and the use of D.O.P San Marzano tomatoes.
Meanwhile if you are wondering what the heck this D.O.P business is, let me clarify… D.O.P or Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta translates to Protected Designation of Origin. So basically the tomatoes come from a protected origin and they create a mouthgasm inducing tomato paste for a pizza.
Etica has also achieved an accreditation from the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana – the Association of True Neapolitan Pizza) which is not only super impressive but basically means the pizza is bloody delicious!
Interesting fact: Ettore is the Australian Pizza Acrobatics Champion! Molto Bene!
With a recent splash of paint, a new sign and some new furnishings, this place is still on point and never disappoints. Ever.
125 Gilles Street, Adelaide
Lunch: Last Friday of every month [from 12pm]
Dinner: Wednesday to Sunday [from 6pm]