A lockdown obsession for Rinaldo Di Stasio and Mallory Wall, Di Stasio Pizzeria is poised to open in Carlton in mid-November.
The third venue for the high-profile restaurateur couple sits behind the King and Godfree complex on the corner of Lygon and Faraday streets and has glamorous echoes of their Di Stasio Citta pleasure palace in the city.
Designed by architect Di Ritter of Hassell, also responsible for Citta, the pizzeria has three separate spaces inside, adorned with Reko Rennie artwork and Shaun Gladwell sculptures, and a courtyard bar centred around a fountain imported from the Roman countryside.
Chef Federico Congiu, who has worked with Di Stasio for five years, is making his own jersey milk mozzarella fiore di latte for the pizzas. Congiu has sourced five growers around the Yarra Valley to grow and preserve San Marzano tomatoes for pizza toppings and is having special durum wheat flour milled in Tamworth.
"My brief for the chefs at the start of this project, which we have been working on for 18 months, was to make the perfect margherita and I wanted to control as many things as possible to ensure this," Di Stasio says.
The menu will offer nine different pizzas baked in a gleaming wood-fired and gas rotary Marana Forni oven, and 13 main courses including a roast of the day and pasta.
Chef Congiu is running a cheese laboratory out of Di Stasio's original St Kilda restaurant to supply the 100-seat pizzeria.
Wall says the restaurant will open from noon every day serving cocktails in the front Bar Sport as well as in the plant-adorned outdoor area, which she hopes will remind people of peering through keyholes of doors in Rome and seeing a beautiful courtyard within.
"This project certainly has the DNA of Citta in it, but with more intimate spaces and a more casual feel," Wall says.
224 Faraday Street, Carlton.