25 Lackey Street
Summer Hill NSW 1230
+61 2 9716 9000
I must admit that I’m not too familiar with the Inner West of Sydney, particularly the Summer Hill area. Though depending on who you speak to, Summer Hill is more Mid-West than Inner West … but that’s another debate for another time. Two things drew us to Summer Hill one weekend: the first one was the existence of a popular Italian restaurant called Da Vinci’s and the second one was Summer Hill resident Trish, an old friend of Bean’s and a new friend of mine.
Because it was a lovely evening, the three of us sat outside while we caught up on years of gossip over some booze. We also shared a serving of focaccia, aka wood-fried pizza bread that had been cut up and gently brushed with olive oil and dried herbs.
Da Vinci’s selling point is their pizza, made using dough that has been cold matured for at least 48 hours. Normally, traditional Neapolitan-style pizza dough goes straight into the oven without resting – this means that the yeast dies in the oven, creating all those lovely black bubbles. The Da Vinci method, however, allows the yeast to grow and then die before it reaches the oven, resulting is a crust that’s smoother, lighter and not so charred. Naturally, this method has attracted lots of fans though Bean and I preferred the traditional method (we want char, dammit!).
That said, the pizzas were still delicious; Trish ordered a vegetarian special (cherry tomatoes, eggplant and lots of rocket) while Bean ordered the diavola which was topped with San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, hot salami and olives ($19).
Although you’re meant to visit Da Vincis’ for their pizzas, that’s not to say that their pastas aren’t worth trying. My orecchiette was well-cooked (beautifully al dente and all) and served with a delicious Italian sausage, broccoli and extra virgin olive oil sauce. So simple, yet so tasty (though I did have a bit of pizza).
Trish didn’t get to finish her pizza but the folks at Da Vinci were lovely enough to wrap it up so she can enjoy it for lunch the next day. As for us, we downed our food without any issues. Would we come back? Maybe. If we were Summer Hill residents, we would definitely not hesitate to make this our local pizza joint. But because we live on the other side of the harbour, getting here is too much of a trek without a car (it took us more than an hour!). Trish may lure us back to Summer Hill but we’re not sure if Da Vinci’s pizzas alone would be an incentive.