ReccoLab opened in Rozelle less than two years ago, and brings the life and food of Italy's Ligurian region to an evolving residential area not far from the hearts of both Rozelle and Balmain.
While Sydney loves its Italian food and a decent Italian restaurant is surely always going to do well anyway, ReccoLab does have its own point of uniqueness.
Not just another pizza joint, Reccolab is the only venue in Australia to make the "Focaccia Col Formaggio Di Recco", a signature dish from owner Antonio Zambarelli's home town of Recco and absolutely the reason why this restaurant is worth visiting. This masterpiece is made of two super thin layers of homemade dough encasing a divine creamy filling of stracchino cheese imported directly from Italy.
It comes in seven different versions that include additions such as Genovese pesto, gorgonzola, prosciutto di San Daniele and Italian truffle ($25-29).
We tried the original "Classica" version ($25), and oh my word you must experience these flavours. From the perfectly crispy edges to the decadent, melt-in-your-mouth cheesey goodness of the filling, this a spectacular new flavour experience that fills a gap in the Sydney dining scene that we didn't even know existed.
Complement your signature entree with dishes such as Polpo e Patate (octopus, kipfler potatoes, taggiasche olives and caper berries, $21) or the Tagliere (selection of cured meats with house bread & seasonal pickles, $27).
By this point you'll no doubt have a drink in hand. ReccoLab does a classic Aperol Spritz deliciously well, as well as the punchier Negroni with that delicious Campari kick.
There's a short but sharp list of pastas that includes a Risotto with Carnaroli rice, peas, prosciutto broth & stracciatella ($28), Spaghettone Verace of pipis, parsley, chilli, garlic and white wine ($28) and a few more tempting dishes.
Mains on offer include Caciucco (market fish, pipis, mussels, cuttlefish, octopus & prawns in tomato soup with crispy bread, $35) and Winter warmer Brasato (Barbera braised beef cheek, mustard & potatoes mash with glazed dutch carrots, $34).
The heart of the menu however is their extensive pizza selection, separated into Rosso and Bianca sections with more than a dozen to choose from on either side. Classic options like the Margherita ($18) and Marinara ($16) are not forgotten; there's a 4 Formaggi, 4 Staggioni and a Capricciosa ($24-25) and several seafood options ($25-26).
An interesting sounding Mortazza pizza features burrata, mortadella, pistacchio and basil, and the Ligure includes mozzarella fior di latte, pesto, pine nuts, prawns and basil (both $25).
Prosciutto pizza (pictured) of tomato sauce, mozzarella fior di latte, rocket, prosciutto San Daniele and Grana Padano cheese ($24) is a personal favourite and ReccoLab's incarnation does not disappoint, laden with fresh and tasty prosciutto plus lots of rocket and cheese on their fairly thin and perfectly crispy woodfired base.
The Salsiccia e Friarielli ($25, also pictured) combines tasty sausage with friarielli (bitter greens), mozzarella fior di latte and smoked buffalo mozzarella in a delicious, decadent option from the Pizza Bianca menu.
For a limited time, Tuesday nights at ReccoLab are ‘Giro Pizza Tuesdays’, aka ‘All You Can Eat Pizza’. Every Tuesday from 5pm- 9:30pm, for just $20 per person, enjoy a wide range of their pizza offerings in the fun Giro Pizza format, complemented by discounted Aperol Spritzes of course.
ReccoLab is family friendly and has plenty of space for larger groups.
Whatever you do, don't miss that signature Focaccia Col Formaggio Di Recco. It is hands down the reason to visit.
ReccoLab is located at 120 Terry Street, Rozelle, NSW. Visit their website for further information.