88 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ever since eating the fabulous food at Miznon, I’ve been obsessed with anything that’s pita-pocket-esque. I’ve always thought the sandwich to be one of the greatest inventions in food history, and pita pockets are basically sandwiches 2.0 – served warm, and often armed to the hilt with ingredients worthy of a sit-down dinner. And although the pockets at Pezzo are made with 48-hour fermented sourdough instead of Turkish bread, it still ticked all of my boxes, and I headed over gleefully after work.
Pezzo has been open for mere weeks, but this luminous Italian canteen with its glossy, swirly blue floors has actually been in the pipeline for over a year. Once Guy Grossi realised that his lunch special of pezzo at Ombra sold like hotcakes, he decided to venture into the casual dining market, and here we are. Given the hype and the Grossi name however, I was surprised at how quiet the restaurant was on a sunny evening – there were a handful of takeaway orders, but we were the only ones dining in.
It’s been told that the No. 5 ($14.9) is Guy Grossi’s favourite pezzo, so it was a no-brainer of an order for me. Firstly, I thought the bread was lovely, the crusty exterior giving way to a chewy, yeasty centre. Stuffed into the bread was a combination of tender fried calamari, grilled zucchini slices, and a creamy white sauce. As classically tasty as the combination was, I felt that it lacked oomph, and became somewhat cloying after a while from the combination of deep frying and the rich sauce. A little more acid would’ve done wonders in this case.
The Hawker ($13.9) fared a lot better, the combination of juicy spit-roasted pork (with crackling!), tangy sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and rich red sauce forming a balanced and hearty filling.
Given the generous fillings in the pezzo, I was a little taken aback by the meanness of the Panzanella ($7.9, small). This was a simple bread and tomato salad, dressed with balsamic, herbs, and olive oil. It was nothing to write home about, but provided some much needed veggies to our meal.
Pezzo sounded so good on paper, and I wanted to love it so much, but ultimately I found myself walking away disappointed. To be clear , there is certainly nothing wrong with pezzo, with its good quality ingredients and generous fillings – there’s just nothing compelling me to go back.
Rating: 12.5/20 – back to miznon.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.