Pasta dishes are hearty and priced between $26 and $30 for beef lasagna; gnocchetti with tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella sauce; mushroom with pine nuts, chilli and parsley; and spinach and cheese ravioli with four-cheese and truffle sauce. Vegans will be rejoicing when they learn 2Bridges offers vegan Parmesan.
The gnocchetti was light and floating in an unctuous sauce with a smack of basil so sharp it lends terrific cut-through to the richness. (Warning: do not be tempted to order more focaccia to sop up that sauce! It would be a mistake with what’s to come. Best just do what you can with a spoon.)
2Bridges Pizza in Neutral Bay has attracted a legion of loyal local followers, with bookings now essential to secure a table.
All three salads looked wonderful, but it was the insanely fresh, colourful Mediterranean with every element coated in a bespoke fruity dressing, tossed on demand, and demolished by us, that still has us raving.
With seven traditional and seven contemporary pizza toppings, it’s a difficult choice. We shared the Marco Polo with pesto sauce, chilli, mozzarella, with the perkiest king prawns doing handstands near the edge. So incredibly tasty.
The sourdough pizza bases are made on-site from gluten-free, stoneground Italian flour. However, the menu advises those with strict GF diets may prefer other options. Diners used to pizza bases with board-like stiffness will find 2Bridges base – and the way it is made – authentic and certified by Accademia Italiana della Pizza.
“We are the only ones in Sydney with this certification,” Laura said. The crust edge is puffed, crisp and nicely browned. Towards the centre, the base softens – just as it does in Italy.
An impressive selection of Italian beers, Aperol, Prosecco and more can be found on the drinks list.
Wine and beer
The beverage selection is extensive and for those who need a little help with Italian beer and wine, 2Bridges has carefully paired their bottles with the food. Or, if still unsure, trust Lauren to bring something to please.
I ordered a beer – birra della Stretto lager – which instantly transported me back to a poolside holiday in Luca. This one was better than the memory; light, pale and gentle. My dining partner was puzzled by the Italian pecorino wine from Lunaria, Italy, which to his palate was more akin to a Pinot Grigio, yet a deep gold in colour. He next chose a rather safe Hollick Chardonnay from South Australia – these were by the glass, as are many from the cellar.
Open since October last year, I meant to ask how the pizzeria was doing. But appears this query is redundant. On the walk back to the car, it was hard to miss that everywhere else seemed to be having a slow night – one cook focussed on a Sudoku from a dog-eared newspaper, and, in another eatery, staff were having dinner with their mobile phones.