In Food + Drink

New York’s Best Pizzeria Pops Up In Surry Hills For One Day Only

Roberta’s, widely lauded as one of the best pizzerias in New York, is popping up at Surry Hills’ Firedoor restaurant this week.

But Roberta’s owner and chief pizza-maker Carlo Mirarchi is here for a good time, not a long time. His collaboration with Firedoor’s head chef Lennox Hastie will be serving Sydneysiders for one day only on Sunday, December 9, from 1pm, and finishing up when the pizza dough runs out. Like the original, the pop-up is walk-in only.

It’s hard to describe the popularity of Roberta’s pizzas. There’s lines, of course, for its idiosyncratic pizzas. Past chefs have described the refreshing creativity in the kitchen, a “seats of your pant sensibility” that encouraged innovation and experimentation. On the menu in the Brooklyn restaurant, you’ll find familiar toppings on the margherita (tomato, mozzarella, basil) or the rosso (tomato, oregano, garlic); but expect the unexpected: taleggio, pickled shallots and marinated radicchio on one pizza; gorgonzola and capers on another.

Roberta's Surry Hills pop up

They may read as an odd pastiche on the menu, sure, but Roberta’s pizzas have been described by The New York Times as “[marvellous] things, of no particular geographical provenance. They are just good ingredients married well, and then cooked in hot, fragrant smoke and quickly smoked.”

There’s no telling yet what these “good ingredients” will be on Mirarchi and Hastie’s collaborative menu. Will they spring for our unique native herbs and fruits, a la Orana in Adelaide? Pluck from the freshest fisherman’s catch, caught off our coastline? Perhaps a dalliance with avocado, as recent New York-to-Sydney import Employees Only has done with its cocktail called the “Down Payment”? They’re not sure yet – both chefs are readying to experiment with different pizza doughs and ingredients when Mirarchi arrives in Sydney this week.

Roberta's Surry Hills pop up

The pizza pop-up is something of a audience request by Firedoor diners. The restaurant is famously free of any electrical cooking elements. All dishes are cooked over open flames, fuelled by one of thirteen specially-selected woods; or in the restaurant’s two wood-fire ovens.

“We still have a large number of diners walk past the restaurant, spot our open kitchen with wood fired ovens and ask, “What pizza’s do you have?” says restaurant manager Raurri Fagan.

They’ll finally get what they wished for this coming Sunday.

Published 05 December, 2018