06 Feb Woodfire Pizzeria, Ivanhoe
Woodfire Pizzeria has moved up the road to a new, bigger venue that with a fresh and modern industrial design. Before the main event, partake in some starters. The Culatello is a lesser known and more expensive salumi made from the hind-leg of the pig. The supple cold cut is served with olives, chunky pieces of Parmiggiano Reggiano and deep fried pizza dough. The Zucchini Flowers are coated in a light Prosecco batter and stuffed with a trio of cheeses: buffalo cheese, ricotta, and mascarpone. The bed of eggplant agrodolce underneath adds a little more punch of flavour.
Panzanella con Polpo is plated in quite a contemporary fashion. Chargrilled octopus is mixed with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, Spanish onion, radish, basil and red wine vinegar dressing, with shards of flatbread splayed out on top replacing the more typical cubes of bread. Swordfish is cured and aged for three weeks before being served as a refreshing and summery carpaccio with charred nectarines, burrata, rocket and green capsicum. The fish finger-looking Semolina Chips are done well. They’re packed full of flavour and have all the crispy, moist cheesiness you’d want in a chip like this.
Unsurprisingly, Woodfire Pizzeria serves…woodfired pizza. Thin, light and airy Napoli-style pizza is adorned with traditional and modern combinations of ingredients, and tonight, the classic Margherita, Porco Porcini and Pera e Speck are sampled. My personal favourite is the Porco Porcini with truffle oil, fior di latte, Provolone cheese, Italian pork sausage, pancetta, porcini mushrooms, and parsley. Can’t go wrong with truffle on pizza.
Pasta at Woodfire is made on site. There’s the more doughy Saffron Gnudi; saffron ricotta gnocchi balls cooked in butter and crowned with spinach, thyme, and macadamia crumbs. Simple flavours can be found in the Spaghetti alla Chitarra with its Italian tomato sugo, cherry tomato, parmesan, burrata, basil and lemon zest. The Linguine di Mare is one of the more eye-catching dishes. The Morton bay bug, Tasmanian mussels, calamari, chilli and garlic sauce are paired with the dark-coloured linguini, the chewier texture of the pasta reminding me of fried Chinese egg noodles. My pick is the Pappardelle Bolognese with its slow cooked beef ragu and shaved pecorino. The pasta is smooth to the tongue, and the pappardelle holds the comfortingly flavoursome beef pieces nicely.
The surroundings may have changed (slightly), but Woodfire is continuing to serve the Italian food that established it as a local favourite.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Woodfire Pizzeria as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
199 Upper Heidelberg Rd
Ivanhoe, VIC, 3079
(03) 9497 3255