It’s eight o’clock. At Mr Wolf this means the second sitting of the night has begun, and families with small children are replaced by well-groomed groups in their thirties. You and your companion pledge to eat sensibly tonight, perhaps share just one pizza and a salad between you. But something about the vivid green interior, low lighting and red riding hood themed cocktails undo your good intentions. Or perhaps it’s the fact that the pizzas at Mr Wolf are exceptional, even by Melbourne’s high standards.
Although staff don’t look kindly on requests for additions and subtractions, rest assured they know what they’re doing – each mouthful is a balanced work of art. The signore lupo is an unusual combination of nutty roasted cauliflower with cherry tomatoes, gooey mozzarella and little knobs of Italian sausage, while the zucca marries softer, sweeter flavours of thin pumpkin slices and ricotta blobs with the salty kick of Ortiz anchovies. Bases are round, light and crisp around the edges.
For non-pizza eaters the rotating braise of the day – a big serve of rabbit, say, braised in a rich, dark stock scented with rosemary and juniper berries– is similarly pleasing. And on the vegetable front, even the most defiant cabbage hater will love the fine shavings of soft cabbage zinging with whole mint leaves and fresh red chill
Staff are accommodating, friendly and run a tight ship. Mr Wolf is so good it’s worth stepping over your grandma for.