Prepare to be charmed when you call +39 to make a reservation. No doubt you’ll hear a gorgeous Italian accent and shouts of ‘ciao!’ in the background. +39 is a valuable addition to Melbourne’s burgeoning pizza scene. It’s open for three meals a day and embraced by CBD workers as evidenced by the deafening noise on a Thursday night.
The long rectangular shaped restaurant has stark white walls, an exposed ceiling and a glass cabinet full of giant Italian cheeses and cured meats (vegetarians may need to avert their eyes). Although pasta dishes are available – Bolognese or cannelloni are on offer today – pizza is the darling here.
The swordfish pizza from the specials board is an odd combination that doesn’t quite hit the mark. Thin slices of milky white swordfish are laid on a base with fior di latte cheese, while a ‘salad’ of raw fennel, orange segments and pistachios is strewn on top. It deserves an A for originality but the ensemble is a little bland (particularly the fish) and could do with a good salting.
We go for the tartufata: truffle paste, topped with sliced mushrooms, finished with parmesan cheese and a little bundle of rocket in the centre. The bases at +39 are outstanding. They’re thin, chewy, beautifully puffed up round the edges with a wonderful buttery flavour. A side of radicchio salad is also lovely: it’s fresh, sweet with a truffle honey dressing.
+39 is a noisy and energetic pizza destination.