Fresh Italian pastas, wood-fired pizzas to make you drool, wonderful wines, brilliant beers and a family run business. Nope, not heaven, it’s VIVALDI KITCHEN AND PIZZA in Matraville. I never really venture too far out South from the beaches but my gawd I am glad I made this exception. I hit up this wonderful venue a few months back but am making my way though my back-log of food heaven and writing hell. And VIVALDI needs a review, it is too wonderful not skip. I was invited to this restaurant thanks to wonderful gentlemen at Ompty Media.
VIIVALDI KITCHEN AND PIZZA VENUE:
VIVALDI is a huge venue, it’s industrial meets family comfort functional with cement floors and exposed roofing. It’s like a family run authentic Italian Sizzler in size. OK, not that big but you get my point. On the night I attended I had my first run at the flu that ended up forming pneumonia and lung infection that went on for months. The night was drowning in rain and the wind was blowing umbrellas inside out. I wanted to be in bed but the warmth and family feel of VIVALDI kept me enjoying the hell out of everything. It’s slightly sunken off the main drag in Matraville and as you enter you are greeted to a vast open venue to your immediate left. The back of the venue sees a bar, a huge Italian kitchen and a separate wood fired pizza oven and kitchen section is to the right.
We arrived early and the place was empty. How could a place this big survive I wondered, within an hour…… packed to the rafters. And it was more than your standard Italian and Pizza joint. This stuff was authentic and cooked with heart. The Chef himself had been imported from Italy and the food and drink was so authentic I thought I was in a Nonna’s house somewhere in Naples. The smells alone had me drooling Homer Simpson style.
NB – VIVALDI has a kid’s menu. If they don’t want to smash the awesome there is more simple fare available.
VIVALDI has been open for about four months now. They are fully licensed with wines and beers that will highly impress. When we visited we had a small private event and my host brought along a wine I worship, a 2011 Kellermeister Wild Witch Shiraz. A wine that makes my knees wobble. The unselfish bastard brought it to a table of four people so I had to share. That wine is not on the menu but the wine that is will still blow your mind. Please note the venue is NOT BYO – during the opening we had a minor privilege.
On the beer front I am usually dubious, I am not a hoppy fan and loathe dark ales. I am more your pale ale fan however generally prefer red wine. Owner and manager, Raffaele Scandura, kept some beers aside for us as they were about to sell out and he wanted us to try them. They were the Baladin Beers, Isaac and Rock ‘n’ Roll. One might be forgiven for believing they were Irish beers from those labels. But they come from the Langhe area in the province of Cuneo in Northern Italy. The Rock ‘n’ Roll was a little more hoppy than the Isaac but overall they were (no word of a lie) two of the best beers I have ever had. Right up my taste alley of beers. I have since bought Isaac again from Dan Murphy’s.
You have to start with beverages and an antipasti plate. VIVALDI offers ten different antipasti plates to choose from. Cheeses, vegetarian, meats, seafoods, the works. Enough to impress anyone. We went the Antipasto per due aka Anitpasto for Two. Basically a mix of most of the other plates on offer. Nearly everything on the platter was insanely delicious but I have to be honest, the sardines on the platter were gross. I am sure some people would love them but they didn’t do it for me and I did the embarrassing napkin mouth stuffing haha. So stealth.
VIVALDI has a marvellous wood fired pizza oven. I am pretty certain they cook close to the Neapolitan style of wood fired pizza and dough. The pizzas take next to no time to cook and will arrive sooner than you would expect. The bases are fresh and fairly soft and as such will be a little more floppy than your average Pizza Hut style but this is the authentic pizza and it’s in a class of it’s own miles above the crappy fast food pizzas of the world.
We commenced with an All’ Aglio pizza which is basically a garlic oil pizza, an appropriate introduction to their food with a garlic bread styled pizza. Deeeeeelish. It then just got better and better. The Toscana Pizza was a good pizza. It had Fior di Latte, Rocket, Parma Proscuitto, and Parmigiano Regiano. It was a good basic pizza the entire family would love. But then we moved on to the Diavola Pizza and I considered stabbing my dining guests to avoid sharing. Fior di Latte, Hot Sardinian Salami, Black Ligurian Olives, Spanish Onions and Chilli – this was pizza perfection and if myself and VIVALDI were closer to each other this would be a regular on my diet of mental health food.
They offer a fantastic selection of pizzas, make sure you throw at least one on your table order, I doubt they could disappoint.
Raffaele was determined to fatten us all up. After antipasti and wonderful pizzas I was satisfied but nope – along came two mains to share. The Spaghetti Di Mare was a seafood pasta made in heaven. It was PACKED with fresh seafood and the sauce was divine. I went in to the kitchen to watch the chef make this, a true artist at work. Following the Spaghetti out came a Gnocchi all Sorrentina. Gnocchi has slowly become my favourite pasta dish over the last few years – do you call it a pasta? This gnocchi was not only vegetarian but next level sublime. A summer’s styled Sorrentina sauce with garlic, heirloom tomatoes, basil mouse and buffalo bocconcini. Simple and brilliant. I would return for this dish.
There was one main pictured below that we did not eat. It was a special and it was something I saw the Chef making and really wanted desperately to eat. Known as the Grande Grigliata it costs $60 and I would suggest sharing this one with one ore two people. It’s duck breast, lamb cutlets, Italian sausages and Roast Spuds. It’s a meaty ménage à trois and it not only looked and smelled insane, it was being ordered off the hook! They need to make this a permanent menu item.
VIVALDI has good Italian dessert game. Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, Nutella Pizza, Affogato and then two items I think you should order over all else. We were present with one of them but I need to return for the second. We smashed the Cannolo Siciliano, a ricotta and candied orange cannoli. An epic twist on cannoli. Beautifully zesty and something I have thought on quite a few times when cannoli has been served since.
The dessert I would love to return for is the Pastiera Di Mamma Con Limoncello. A traditional Neapolitan cake made with wheat, eggs and ricotta served with a shot of house-made limoncello – PERFECTION!!
VIVALIDI KITCHEN AND PIZZA is up there as one of the best modern but traditional Italian restaurants in Sydney. Wood fired pizzas, pastas and a la carte mains to make you drool. If Matraville was only closer to Manly this place would be a regular of mine.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Vivaldi Kitchen and Pizza Deets:
PH: 0431 622 944
3/495 Bunnerong Rd, Matraville NSW 2036
HOURS: Tues – Sun: 530pm – 9:30pm
LOCAL DELIVERY: Yes
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Definitely
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such ***