In pub kind, it’s often made with rooster or eggplant, however Capitano makes use of veal on the bone, which has been pounded out to the dimensions of a vinyl LP, breaded and pan-fried, then lined in wealthy pink sauce, globs of melted mozzarella and a flurry of contemporary basil. It prices $65, can simply feed two or three individuals and is completely spectacular: crisp edges, melty cheese, tangy sauce, meaty marvel.
This and different components of Capitano might be described as fashionable nostalgia — loving nods to the previous imbued with a lot of what’s nice about consuming and consuming within the current. The Negroni has a delicate kick of high-quality saffron lurking in its bittersweet, boozy depths; the martini is made with olive oil-infused gin and olive-leaf bitters.
I’ve all the time taken situation with oversalting in a few of the meals at Bar Liberty, and the identical is true at Capitano. Chittara with clam sauce would have been beautiful had it been edible. The identical was virtually true of the meatballs. However the pizzas are charred and stretchy in all the suitable methods, and that veal parma is salted good.
This old-meets-new Carlton aesthetic is rising: Final yr, the longstanding restaurant Da Salvatore Pizza by the Metre closed, reopening in November as Leonardo’s Pizza Palace beneath the course of one other group of well-known younger restaurateurs. The brand new homeowners stored lots of the visible components of Da Salvatore — a number of of the unique pictures nonetheless grasp on the wall — and the place retains the texture of a 1960s or ‘70s pizza joint. Leonardo’s and Capitano additionally share some overseas aspirations: Each serve purportedly American-style pepperoni pizzas, and Leonardo’s even offers a aspect of ranch dressing for crust-dipping. (Nonetheless, ranch mustn’t style predominantly like mayonnaise.)
I’d choose that these locations lean in to the Italian-Australian roots of the realm relatively than attain for America. I’ve clambered onto this soapbox earlier than, however we should be extra appreciative of the meals tradition that’s our personal.
If anybody wants any extra proof of that, they want solely ebook a desk on the Olive Jar.
Do you have got a suggestion for Besha Rodell? The New York Instances’s Australia bureau would love to listen to from you: email@example.com, or be part of the dialogue within the NYT Australia Fb group. Learn concerning the Australia Fare column right here.
Comply with NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Fb and Pinterest. Get common updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe solutions, cooking suggestions and buying recommendation.