Southern Italy just got closer
As we approach the open-windowed entrance to Vacanza we hear a happy customer excitedly call to the owner “This is the best pizza I’ve EVER had,” before waving and heading jauntily out into the Bronte night. Our expectations are high.
Front of house we are met by owner Nick Gilbert who seats us at the window bench with a crisp glass of Riesling from the well selected wine list. After spending months in Southern Italy learning the secrets of traditional pizza making and perfecting his art, Nick has returned to open the greatly anticipated Vacanza Pizzeria. His work pays homage to all he’s learnt.
In the open kitchen the staff are busy kneading dough, slicing pecorino, and pulling pizzas in and out of the huge Amalfi stone oven. After enjoying our wine we’re led upstairs to be seated. This is a warmly welcoming exposed brick room, with floorboards, draw windows and fireplace. Artful graffiti and a huge photo of a cinquecento loaded up with pizza boxes complete the picture.
Vacanza oozes style. And it is not hard to see why in the first week of opening it’s already heaving with people happily tucking into pizzas and quaffing red wine.
There’s a choice of fourteen pizzas. We tried the Il Capitano which is a proud mix of Swiss mushroom, goats cheese, Italian sausage and truffle oil. We also tried the Il Caraceno which is a pizza bianche (no tomato base) with prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, fior di latte and wild rocket. Whether you go for a rich and tasty pizza or more delicately balanced flavours, these pizzas have a perfect authentic base, thin but with substance and the right crispness.
Every now and then you stumble across a place that makes you want to turn to the skies and hail the god of pizza. The food, atmosphere, wine list and general ambience, with its laid back professionalism, make Vacanza a winner. We think we have a new favourite.
Where: Vacanza Pizzeria at 261 Bronte Road, Bronte
When: Open Wednesday–Monday from 5pm.
Get me in: Phone 9090 2089