The triumph of their Gertrude Street restaurant, Ladro, prompted Ingrid Langtry and Sean Kierce to create another recipe for success, this time in the South. They teamed up with Frank Van Haandel and Anthony Musarra to open Ladro Greville Street in May 2010, in the quaint yet famous street off Chapel Street in Prahran.
What do you get when you combine two designers with hospitality experience and a desire for an authentic pizzeria with great service? Something that looks, tastes and feels a lot like Ladro.
Owners, Sean Kierce and Ingrid Langtry, worked at some of Melbourne’s finest dining establishments, including Jacques Reymond, Stephanies, Est Est Est and the Kent Hotel, while studying design. With the enthusiasm of the early noughties behind them and looking to tick something off their bucket list, they found a gaping hole in the Italian dining market for a traditional trattoria that had fantastic service, as well as serving authentic wood-fired pizza with the best ingredients.
And so they leapt into the unknown to open the very first Ladro in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. Amidst the ensuing media frenzy, the restaurant was soon staving off customers, with many having to book three to six weeks in advance. Thirteen years later, the very first Ladro has withstood the test of time.
Meaning ‘thief’ in Italian, Ladro shamelessly steals its flavour inspiration from the motherland. Head Chef, Ben Walker, and his team turn out pizzas for every taste, using the finest ingredients Italy has to offer as well as locally sourced and sustainably grown products a little closer to home. They even have their own beehive, supplying them with the freshest honey around.
Before diving straight into the pizza options, whet your appetite with a Salumi Board complete with San Daniele riserva, mortadella, salami tartufo, wagyu bresaola and rockmelon jam. If you’re after a meatless option, try the Polenta Chips, drizzled with truffle oil and dusted with pecorino, or the Bruschetta featuring smoked eggplant ricotta.
When that’s been devoured, the main act is ready and waiting. The Porcini And Gorgonzola Pizza is complete with fior di latte, gorgonzola, porcini, pangratatto and basil – a modern take on the traditional, while the San Daniele Pizza lets the best of Italian produce shine, featuring bufala, fior di latte, onion and prosciutto San Daniele Riserva.
Scout’s Pizza (a tribute to Ingrid and Sean’s daughter) combines tomato, taleggio, caramelised onion, basil, dressed rocket and parmigiano for a simultaneously fresh and indulgent experience. Don’t expect the pizzas to arrive cut – slicing wheels come as a side, meaning having ‘just one slice’ can take on a very different meaning.
If you prefer pasta over pizza, try the Gnocchi complete with slow-cooked lamb ragu, sugo and mint; or the Risotto featuring zucchini, kale, caramelised leek and taleggio. There’s also a curated selection of mains, such as a 300g Hopkins River Scotch Fillet, served with triple cooked potatoes, truffle salt, horseradish and Dijon mustard. When everything has disappeared from your plate, don’t forget to look over at the specials board, where carefully constructed desserts lie waiting to tempt you.
In its 13+ years of existence, Ladro has always been a frontrunner for authentic Italian fare, and with its Greville Street outpost booming, it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.