You'll find Pizza Mario hidden within the St Margarets complex on Bourke Street. I find this a really s-t-r-a-n-g-e area. A courtyard is surrounded by modern apartments that have been developed around the old St Margaret's hospital. The hospital part is really cool, but to me the courtyard is kinda soulless and it's a mega wind tunnel so being outside on a day when there is the slightest breeze is not fun. But...head in doors to Pizza Mario and none of that matters anymore (you'll also find Morena here plus an awesome looking cheese shop).
We start our dinner with a Ruchetta Salad - rocket, Parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice ($8.00). I always like to have a simple salad when I'm indulging in pizza. I think it tricks me into thinking I'm being healthy. It works for me so it's a theory I'm going to stick with.
Our only meat pizza of the night is the Calabrese - mozzarella, ‘ndujia (hot salame) and gaeta olives ($22.50). I love how THIN the pizza bases are here and they have a wonderful, almost smokey flavour from the wood fire oven. This is a good pizza, but not the one I've been lusting after since my first visit.
Ah, behold my beloved Gorgonzola - con radicchio mozzarella, gorgonzola and chopped radicchio ($21.50). I ADORE the earthiness and saltiness of the gorgonzola on this pizza - I'm a salt fiend so perhaps this is why I love this pizza so much. The radicchio is just window dressing really although its bitterness does offset some of the pungent gorgonzola.
The margherita ($17.50) is a true Naples style of pizza - tomato, mozzarella and basil ($17.50). It's simple but as is so often the case, the simple things in life are often the best. This is also the only "red" pizza we ordered for dinner - all the others come sans tomato sauce. I think this style of pizza just illustrates how gross all those "stuffed crust" abominations really are...blergh.
Last but not least is the Patate - sliced potato, sea salt and rosemary ($15.00). This is something that I often make at home as I have more rosemary growing on the balcony that I can poke a stick at! What I make though cannot compare to this. The base is cooked directly on the floor of the hot oven is just marvelous and I think impossible to recreate in a conventional home oven. Shame.
Oh we also had wine. I think this is a Pinot Gris...whatever it was I REALLY liked it. It was quite sweet in an understated way and I think it paired really well with all the "white" pizzas we enjoyed. Bottoms up!
Pizza Mario is located at the St. Margaret's complex; shop 9, Ivy, 417 – 421 Bourke Street, Surry Hills.