Il Pizzaiolo: 163 Darebin Road, Thornbury

Over two years ago when this restaurant had only just opened, I had dinner there with my partner. At the time, it was a tiny restaurant that couldn’t meet the full demands of the public. Luckily, about a year ago, the store next door had to close and an opportunity to expand was given to Il Pizzaiolo.

Even having doubled in size, the restaurant remains consistently busy across the weekend and last Friday night, my family took a short trip to Thornbury to catch up with family friends.

Greeted by friendly, but stressed faces upon arrival, what we walked into was anything but relaxed. With two enormous tables taking up most of the second room, it was a typically loud and full on night at Il Pizzaiolo.

Unfortunately, no pizza options on the menu jumped out at me a part from the ‘Sopressa’ with hot salami (the best ingredient to go on a pizza!). My siblings and I decided to share two pizzas including this one and ‘Salsicia’ with pork sausage, an obvious choice by my seventeen year-old brother.

Given the incredible amount of patrons dining at the restaurant, it came as no surprise that we had to wait over forty-five minutes to receive our mains; fortunately we had the lovely bruschetta for entrée.

The pizzas eventually came out and were very appealing, however the base was far too thick for my liking! All you need for a pizza is some lovely, fresh toppings with a thin base that doesn’t make you feel like you are consuming too much bread. Il Pizzaiolo just missed the mark for me and due to the large and overwhelming bases; I didn’t enjoy my meal as much as I could have.

But hey, this might be just me! Everybody else at our table seemed to be content with their food, which was great.

For dessert, we ordered two Nutella and strawberry calzones and we expecting the usual, small-ish calzone however what came out was definitely not small! The calzone was quite literally a full pizza base, flipped over making it one of the largest, if not the largest, Nutella calzone I’ve ever had!

The calzone, I must admit was a nicer base than the pizzas we ordered for main, however no one could finish it as the Nutella was so rich!

Overall, Il Pizzaiolo had fabulous staff that were constantly attentive, something I value very highly. If it weren’t for the awfully loud atmosphere, chunky pizza bases and the woman sitting at the next table that kept staring at our table and mocking us and our discussions- not joking – then I would recommend this venue to all.

Might be a good idea to try the pizza takeaway!

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