In only a few years, King William Rd’s Antica Pizzeria e Cucina has established itself as a neighbourhood destination for Neapolitan-style fare, and now the guys have set up shop on Morphett St in the CBD!
The brains behind the operation, Anthony Crea, says opening up in the city was the next logical step for Antica, with the King William Rd location proving to be more of a family-style pizzeria.
Set between Grote and Franklin Streets, their Morphett St digs is close enough to cater to a corporate, city-dwelling crowd, while being far enough removed from the fast-paced heart of the CBD – exactly what Anthony had in mind. “I wanted to get out of the hustle and bustle,” he says, but being a stone’s throw from the Gouger St food precinct, “it’s set to be an up-and coming strip.”
It’s been less than a year from inception to completion, and with the help of Ryan Genesin (of Genesin Studio), the once-furniture shop is now unrecognisable from its former self… with arched light fixtures, neutral furnishings and overhanging greenery. Not to mention it brings together 60 000 hand-cut bricks, adding a bit of earthiness to the fresh-faced eatery. “Our Hyde Park store is a real Italian-style pizzeria,” says Anthony, “but this is much more of city design.”
The kitchen sits at the helm of the space, with a wall of firewood set behind the majestic wood oven, and alongside their brand spankin’ new wood grill. While their full cocktail bar is flanked by what Crea describes as “an indoor alfresco area,” a sort of courtyard that looks out onto Morphett St.
With the new location comes new menu offerings, and as one of the only restaurants in Adelaide to have a wood oven and a wood grill, they’ve well and truly got you covered.
Get started with something quintessentially Italian such as the Polenta caprese, grilled polenta with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil with housemade balsamic glaze and olive oil, or the Panzanella Toscana with fresh tomato, basil, olives, celery and bread crostini.
In the pasta department, you can expect a fully-fledged selection Nonna would be proud of. “We’re making all our pasta fresh,” says Anthony, and we can’t get enough of the Orecchiette salsiccia e broccoli with pork sausage, broccolini and cherry tomatoes. It’s a must-try.
In the pizza department, there’s nothing quite like the Margherita with San Marzano tomato, fior di latte and basil, but the Funghi with fior di latte, porcini and Swiss brown mushrooms, and truffle oil comes in close second.
We can’t think of a better way to curb that lunch-hour hunger than with one of their dine-in or takeaway nine-inch pizzas or pastas, but if these carb-heavy offerings ‘aint your thing, keep an eye out for char-grilled specials from the wood grill!
The city vibe flows into the drinks department, with a full cocktail bar that Anthony assures us is stocked with “some nice top shelf stuff.” “It encourages a drinking scene as well as an eating scene,” he says, and we’re more than happy with that. But let’s not forget the team at Antica are running ‘Happy Hour’ on Friday nights, so it’s the perfect after-work hangout!
Old-fashioned Italian hospitality goes hand-in-hand with good quality fare at Antica, with their take on Neapolitan cuisine a welcome addition to the west end. So let’s hope this is a sign of good things to come for the Morphett St precinct!