Frankly, it’s on the sleepy side of town, seven city blocks from both the East and West Ends of Adelaide where you’d expect a happening pizzeria to make its mark.
Yet Madre (from the team behind McLaren Vale outfit Pizzateca) is a bright spark on a quiet street. Pull up on a Friday night and it’s clear from the hopefuls waiting outside that this is the place to be. Inside, it’s all millennial pink and marine blue, including the shimmering blue-tiled pizza oven at the kitchen’s heart. Cocktails are strong, staff are youthful and exuberant and there’s an eclectic soundtrack that bounces from modern rock to McCartney post-The Beatles. The short menu is filled with highs: tiny appetiser trios in various dough incarnations (balls, hollow pide, deep-fried); a tender octopus teamed with crunchy fennel; and a roster of pastas that change daily. But it’s the pizzas that fuel this party: authentic, Napolitano-style pies with bases made from Italian flour, Italian seawater and a sourdough starter, lievito madre (“mother dough”), which co-owner Ettore Bertonati has been feeding since 2013. Toppings include traditional combos, such as smoked mozzarella, tomato and basil, which can be adapted for vegans with a switch to plantbased cheese. The result? Stretchy, supple, blistered perfection.
57 Gilbert Street, Adelaide; 0413 776 616; open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner.