Acqua e Sale
Water and salt – acqua and sale, respectively – figures prominently at this neighbourhood diner. That's because pastas and pizzas are the primary stocks in trade here.
The handmade pasta is uniformly excellent and the portions are big. The squid-ink seafood spaghetti is toothsome and heavy on clams, mussels and fish, and liberally seasoned with shaved bottarga (dried mullet roe). The gnochetti sardi – an all-semolina, ridged pasta also known as malloreddus in other regions – dressed in a saffron-spiked pork sausage sugo is gloriously bitey and a nice contrast to the more typical, pillowy gnocchi (the menu does offer fluffier potato-based gnocchi too).
The chewy house-made bread – half sourdough, half yeast – is baked daily in the same wood-fired oven as the pizza and arrives on the table in elegant wooden bowls also nested with pane carasau, Sardinian flatbread. The yeast-risen pizzas ferment for 48 hours and are rolled thin to produce a crisper, lightweight pie with a bubbly crust that’s more Roman than puffy Neapolitan in style. Toppings are traditional and sparsely topped and the pies are dangerously easy to eat.
It's all set within a former pizzeria that's been transformed into a 30-seat, Edison bulb-lit vision of neighbourhood casual-comfort.