Mascalzone Pizzeria Osteria Artigiana, 217-219 Nelson Plavce, Williamstown. Phone: 9397 7269
Mascalzone has been open about three weeks, replacing one of the nondescript venues for which Nelson Place is mostly known, that one replacing another before it.
Mascalzone is sure step in a good direction.
It’s done out brightly with an accent on Italian in decor, ambience and food.
There’s a big brick oven at the rear and a display cabinet of fine-looking antipasto goodies at the front.
We find the service for Saturday lunch is terrific and our food is brought to us in a timely fashion.
Mascalzone’s menu (see below) is a smartly tight line-up of modern-classic Italiana that extends from starters through pizzas, pasta and salads to dolci.
When checking out such joints as this for the first time, we routinely choose one of the basic pizzas just to see how they shape up.
In this case that means the napoletana ($18) picked from a list of nine red pizzas and five of the white kind.
Our pizza is very nice with simplicity being the thing and the toppings all of good quality and in the right proportions.
The crusts are have a wonderful charred thing going on.
From the list of five pastas, we select the pappardelle al ragu di agnello with roasted asparagus ($22).
At first, the lamb shoulder sauce and the white pasta present as so pale as to be pallid.
But there’s do doubting the home-style depth of flavours in the meat, the attendant juices and the excellent cheese gratings.
All this rests upon and about truly wonderful house-made pasta that is al dente perfection.
Tiramisu ($10) is a dream of cream and not much else – but we love it anyway.
Next time we’ll be up for sharing one of the two antipasti platters.
And there will be a next time.
Nelson Place, food destination.