Everyone knows pizza – and most of us love it – but what about traditional rectangular sections of pizza, baked on a tray, and served Roman style with gourmet toppings? The pizzas most Australians know are the Neapolitan round ones, and there are some fine examples around the city. But no matter how gorgeous they are, there is little variation from the first to the eighth slice, even the staunchest Neapolitan would admit!
At Cipro’s on Fountain Street in Alexandria, you choose the pizza or pizzas you fancy, and they are cut into rectangular pieces, and served as single slices– Roman style. This is the essence of what ‘al taglio’ means, and in Italy it is common for this type of pizza to be sold by weight. In this way you can sample many different pizzas and go for a variety of different tastes.
Owners, Penelope Watson-Green and Angel Fernandez, opened the doors in early 2013. With a two-decade shared background in fine dining in some of Sydney and Melbourne’s best-loved restaurants (like Catalina and Rockpool), they decided to step away from that scene into the small, local, eatery-style of food for their first venture. This has allowed them to continue to deliver fine food and service, but in a much more casual environment, and it seems they are revelling in it.
“It’s a fabulous new area that will be the next new hub in Sydney,” Penelope said. We are located in a funky warehouse surrounded by a lot of local, small up and coming businesses.” As well as the pizza, Head Chef Angel prepares a range of simple rustic Italian food, with everything made on the premises from beginning to end, including the bread, biscuits and desserts. All the meat and poultry, and some of the seafood (notably the mussels and whole fish) are locally sourced, as are the seasonal fruit and vegetables.
The pizza slices that are so popular around Italy, are perfect for a light but filling Sydney lunch – you can eat in or take away. It’s far from just a Margherita on offer too, with gourmet toppings like pork ragu with ricotta salata and rocket; pumpkin, goats cheese and spiced chickpeas; prawn, zucchini and garlic; house made pork sausage, peppers and olive; and prosciutto, tomato, marscapone and grilled broccoli.
Dishes like chicken marinated in black pepper and chilli, house-cured ocean trout, wood-fire grilled quail, vignole, linguine with mussels, and pork and veal meatballs give you an authentic taste of rural Italy if you are looking for a more substantial main course.
With a good wine list offering a selection of Italian imported wines and a selection of both local and imported beers on offer, Cipro’s is a place where you can relax and spend a bit of time, or alternatively grab a slice and be on your merry way.