Authentic Neapolitan pizza at Giovanni’s

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Giovanni's chef Thiago Pires with a pizza out of the oven.

New Allenton pizzeria Giovanni’s is offering a taste of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza.

Gourmet pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven and come with a range of ingredients, a number of which are sourced from Italy.

The pizza menu include a margherita, quattro formaggi (four cheese), funghi (mushroom), pepperoni, hot diavola and other options.

Giovanni’s Pizzeria is the brainchild of business couple John and Anna McDonald, who opened neighbouring Harrison Street fish restaurant Docks Bar & Seafood Grill in June.

Mr McDonald said Giovanni’s had been due to open a year ago, but drawn out issues with a potential staff member’s working visa, and then the covid situation, had delayed things.

The search for an experienced pizza chef had been ongoing and he was delighted to have finally landed one.

Brazilian-born Thiago Pires had 10 years experience working with pizzas and had a purist approach and passion for his craft, said Mr McDonald.

Giovanni’s had enjoyed a “soft” opening over the past two weeks to test systems and the response had been extremely positive.

“We’ve had feedback from people who have eaten pizzas in Italy and in Italian run restaurants elsewhere, and the overwhelming response has been a big thumbs up.”

Mr McDonald said most of the ingredients for the pizzas were Italian made and of the highest quality.

Neapolitan pizza had a very thin crust at the base, with dough that puffed up around the sides.

The specialised pizza oven is fired up to 450 degrees Celsius and uses kiln dried beech.

Pizzas made from scratch can be ready to eat in five minutes and up to five at a time can go in the oven.

Pizzas can be eaten in or taken away.

Mr McDonald said Giovanni’s would offer a delivery service in the future, but not in the current economic climate.

It would also look to expand its menu to include pasta and gnocchi and would look to add a liquor licence.

Those wanting to enjoy a beer or wine with their pizza could elect to eat it next door at Docks, which he owned, and which had a licence.

Pizzas come in a classic 30cm size and are suitable for one or two people.

Giovanni’s Pizzeria is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 5pm until 9pm, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm until 10pm.

-By Mick Jensen