A lot of places do pizza, but it's difficult to find really outstanding 'true to Italy' style pizza. Vacanza however does this beautifully, in a lovely, casual inner city setting with friendly staff.
Vacanza's menu comes with a few warnings - so be prepared - the first of which states that modifications to pizzas will be "politely declined," unless it is literally a matter of life or death, and the second stems from the Italian philosophy that 'less is more' so, in true Italian style, the crust is thin and crisp and toppings are kept to a few key ingredients which are designed to complement each other perfectly.
The restaurant's unique brushchetta adds fresh mozzarella to the traditional classic.
When we think of pizza, we think of cheese, specifically gooey, stringy mozzarella. Vacanza is a mecca for mozzarella lovers with their bufala mozzarella bar showcasing the delicious versatility of mozzarella with dishes such as arancini, bruschetta and even a mozzarella degustation.
The bruschetta ($19.00), which is a tad unusual as it is served on a thin pizza base, doesn't disappoint. The bruschetta, topped with tomato, basil and pieces of soft, fresh mozzarella and drizzled with olive oil, is one of the best bruschettas I have ever tasted.
Limoncello, the flavour gamble that paid off in a big way.
Getting a few pizzas to share is the best way to sample Vacanza's Italian flavours. The special was a limoncello pizza ($24.00), which we were equally excited and hesitant to try. Combining the unusual flavours of pancetta, tomato, basil, and a drizzle of limoncello, a tangy Italian liqueur, this pizza quickly became my favourite of the night.
The thin-crust Vacanza, with a white sauce base.
The restaurant's namesake, the Vacanza ($22.90), was our second choice for the evening. Diverting slightly from tradition, the Vacanza features a white sauce base, Swiss mushrooms, more cheese - this time pecorino, and truffle oil. We chose well again, with this pizza featuring earthy flavours that complemented the limoncello nicely.
The restaurant also has light, simple salads, like the Caprese and the rucoletta insalata - a rocket and parmesan combination ($9.00), which are delicious and easily complement any pizza.
The calzone - you can never go wrong with Nutella.
To finish off the night we of course needed dessert, which arrived in the form of a Nutella and ricotta calzone ($15). Sweet, crisp dough ensconces itself around a gooey filling of hazelnut chocolate and smooth, creamy ricotta - which helps balance the richness of the chocolate. A scoop of vanilla ice cream completes this simple, yet delicious dessert.
The food at Vacanza was consistently good and the staff friendly and accommodating. They also allow BYO, with a relatively inexpensive corkage fee. If you're after quality Italian style pizza, this is the place.
Where: 414 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, 2010.
Cost: $15 - $35 per person.
When: Tuesday to Sunday from 5.30pm till late. Friday lunchtime 12pm to 3pm. Closed Monday.
Good for kids: Yes
Take away: Yes