Food, Recently Opened

The World Loves Beer Wine and Calzone

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As one of the most-loved cuisines, it’s no surprise that Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen in Melbourne. So how does one stand out from the rest?

Beer Wine and Calzone has recently opened up in the CBD just above the popular jazz club Bird's Basement and it ticks all the boxes for a good location, a sleek, modern layout and prides itself in using premium local and international ingredients.

The final hidden gem, that gives the pizza and calzones such amazing taste, is found in the yeast.

The pizza is made by a professional pizzaioli, a master instructor from the Accademia Italiana Della Pizza, Marino Maffi and he also uses 80-year-old yeast ‘mother’ for the dough for both the pizza’s and calzones. The dough for the calzone and pizza bases is given a lengthy 72 hours to rise. The result is a perfectly thin-crust pizza with the right amount of crunch. So what is the difference between a calzone and a pizza? Personally I think it’s just a fun way of eating a pizza. A calzone looks like a half-moon shaped stuffed pizza and it’s bursting with flavour with each bite.

You’ll find five choices including the Arrabbiata (spicy salami, Spanish onions, mushrooms, fior di latte cheese and fresh chilli), the Boscaiola (porcini mushrooms, asparagus, Taleggio cheese and truffle oil) and a personal favourite from the night the Capricciosa which was filled with smoked mozzarella, San Marzano tomato, ham, artichoke and olives.

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If you just want to stick to the classics you can’t go wrong with the Primavera pizza loaded with rich buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato, San Daniele ham, rocket and parmesan.

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In the pasta department, the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina was light and fluffy as gnocchi should be – tossed in tomato sauce, basil and fior di latte cheese. Picture gnocchi Before you get to the main courses you may want to warm up your appetite with a starter. In true Italian fashion we were able to start with a selection of cured meats, olives and bread and a Caprese salad.

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Dessert is a must while you’re here. You can choose between some Italian classic (Tiramisu or Panna Cotta) or enjoy the calzone/pizza dough in the form of a Nutella calzone. Picture 7 Picture 8 Picture 9 The menu may be small but everything is deceptively delicious. Beer Wine and Calzone is open for lunch and late dinners. If you’re in the CBD and fancy a quality meal without breaking the bank, this is the place. Beer Wine and Calzone 350 William Street Melbourne CBD www.beerwineandcalzone.com There is pizza then there is pizza.

Pizzaioli and master baker Marino Maffi is manning the ovens and tweaking the menu at Beer Wine and Calzone, a new establishment at 350 Williams Street in Melbourne’s CBD. A pizza outlet and venue associated with Bird’s Basement, the stunningly successful jazz venue recently launched by Albert Dadon, Beer Wine and Calzone is the brain child of Albert’s son Jerome Dadon, the creator of nearby café Brother Thomas.

This modern Italian canteen has a sleek, modern fit-out, with polished terrazzo floor, attractive sit-up bar and comfortable seating throughout for 75 patrons. Open from noon to midnight, Beer Wine and Calzone features a menu that is refreshingly straightforward and complemented by an extensive list of beer, wine and liquor.

Diners can begin with selection of starters, such as calamari and arancini balls, before moving on to primi piatti, the pasta course. There is a choice of three: gnocchi alla sorrentina (potato gnocchi with tomato sauce and fior di latte), fettuccine alla bolognese and spaghetti alla carbonara. This is the orchestral prelude leading to the big bang: secondi piatti, or pizza and calzone. A calzone is akin to a pizza pocket – a nifty parcel of succulent and delectable fillings, such as artichoke hearts, salted aged beef and Parmesan, or perhaps porcini mushrooms, asparagus, taleggio cheese and truffle oil.

If you are more of a traditionalist, choose the pizza. Great Italian classics, like margherita, verdure, primavera and puttanesca, are elevated to a new level of perfection. Each freshly kneaded base is lavished with homemade passata, before premium local and imported ingredients – buffalo mozzarella, San Daniele ham and oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, for example – are used to top the pizzas going into the oven. For dessert, finish with a banana, nutella and custard calzone, or a pizza panna cotta. This is pizza with an identity crisis. Delicious chocolate is sluiced with summer berries, while delicate, homemade panna cotta takes centre stage on this radical, but delicious departure from tradition. We have left the best to last. Let’s talk about the ‘mother’ at Beer Wine and Calzone.

This highly prized, aged, microbiological gloop imparts a unique flavour, fluff and crunch to all dough with which she comes into contact. The yeast mother is the alpha and omega of bread making. A fermentation starter that allows the dough to rise, the Beer Wine and Calzone yeast mother is 80 years old and is nurtured daily by Marino Maffi. Maffi ensures the dough for his calzone and pizza bases is given a lengthy 72 hours to rise. It’s proof that the noble Italian art of pizza making is alive and thriving in Melbourne’s CBD.

Beer Wine and Calzone does delivery and has a full service bar serving premium wine, beer, cider, spirits and cocktails. -EndBeer Wine and Calzone 350 William Street Melbourne CBD Open 7 Days 12pm – 12am www.beerwineandcalzone.com www.facebook.com.au/beerwinecalzone @beerwineandcalzone

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