Pizza Madre is a 35-seat restaurant and bar by Marrickville’s meat-free pasta and cafe champions, Two Chaps.
Here you can enjoy a Negroni, a wild-ferment beer and a Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza made without a single ingredient imported from Italy. Many pizzaiolos would call heresy on Madre’s practice of mixing up the ferment time for its dough, using Australian wholemeal grain and ditching commercial yeast for a sourdough starter.
For toppings, expect what Two Chaps does with pasta, but on a pizza: seasonal, high quality produce (provided by gun produce merchant Shane Roberts) that’s classically prepared and vaguely Italian. There’ll be five or six pizzas that’ll change each week. One unlikely to leave the menu is a multi-cheese pizza with a washed rind, a blue cheese, fior di latte, hazelnuts and warrigal greens. The opening menu had a margherita with fresh oregano, and one with rich portobello mushroom, Jerusalem artichoke and fior de latte topped with smoked-cauliflower hummus. For a gluten-free option try the farinata, an Italian chickpea pancake.
There’s not much beyond that, just a seasonal leafy green salad, some pre-pizza snacks (fried chickpeas and house olives) and a couple of desserts: a Negroni granita and a kouign amann (a brittle, croissant-like bun) stuffed with tiramisu gelato. The drinks list is also refreshingly short; two whites, two reds (one each on tap), two more obscure wildcards and a single beer.
It also does a takeaway trade. Or squeeze into Madre’s cute but tiny pastel pink, white and green dining room.
A recipe from Pizza Madre is featured in The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook. Buy your copy at shop.broadsheet.com.au.