The smell of wood-fired pizza hangs like a big smoky blanket over Cabarita Road in Concord, and judging by the number of people sitting down to dinner at SUD on a Tuesday evening, the inner west locals are all for it.
SUD is not an acronym - it's Italian for "south" and Sicilian-born SUD chef and co-owner Paolo Gatto is very excited about food from The Boot's pointy end.
"We want to introduce Sydney to good southern Italian food - from Rome down," Gatto says. "The kind of food you buy on the street or eat in your grandmother's house."
Gatto is also chef and owner of Five Dock's Gatto Matto Trattoria, listed in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015.
Dishes at SUD include a peasants' feast of garlic-fried bitter greens with slices of pork and fennel sausage, chilli and hunks of bread ($13.50); oven-baked olives served with nduja (spreadable Calabrian sausage) and sardines ($9); and slow-cooked pork neck with baked potatoes, salmoriglio (a sauce of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic) and caramelised red onion ($26).
There's also twists of trofie pasta in tomato sugo with braised veal, pork and sausage. It's exactly the takeaway pasta you want to eat on a rainy night in front of the telly.
SUD is a family affair. Gatto's wife is "the boss", his sister pours drinks at the bar (negronis are $10) and brother Ezio is on pizza duties.
In a departure from the blistered edge, chewy-based Neapolitan pizzas paddled out of wood-fired ovens all over Sydney, Ezio makes pizza Romana-style. It's thinner and crispier than the Naples variety, meaning you can eat it walking along the street and not worry about a slice of diavola ($21) with toppings of mozzarella fiordilatte, salami, capsicum and olives flip-flopping everywhere.
The venue is also open on weekends for breakfasts including Nutella-heavy pastries and pane di casa.
10 Cabarita Road, Concord, (02) 9739 6120, sudfood.com.au