Review: Franco Pizza Bar

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney, Travel / 28 April 2021

A new pizza & wine eatery has opened in Thirroul, Sydney’s South Coast.

If you’re heading down south for the weekend to escape the hustle and bustle, we strongly suggest a pit-stop at Thirroul. Just a short 1.5-hour drive from Sydney, this beachy coastal town has all the local feels and is home to many hidden gems, including Franco Pizza Bar. The doors opened last month after a much-anticipated renovation took place on the main street. The restaurant is buzzing with locals making their next booking before they’ve even finished dessert and after our visit, we can see why…

Already, the place runs like a well-oiled machine with the¬†crew behind The Wine Library in Paddington, Chef Matt Taylor, Sam Jones and pastry chef Johannah Taylor combining forces once again. What do you do when you’ve had enough of the big smoke? Pack up your aprons and open an Italian joint on the Coal Coast. The restaurant has a new chic fit-out making it feel as though it belongs in Sydney city. You won’t see traditional Italian red and white check table cloths, but what you will see are shelves stacked high with Italian vino and a pizza oven tucked away in the back corner.

So what should you order? With an 80+ wine list featuring the classic Sangiovese, all the way to locally sourced minimal intervention wines, it can be hard to choose just one. Let their team of winos pick the perfect tipple to suit your tastes and the dishes to come. The menu has been designed to be shared with famiglia in the true spirit of Italian cuisine. For just $45pp, tuck into a spread of antipasti, choose one of ten sourdough pizzas, and your choice of dessert. Let me just say, you will absolutely leave full as you would with a visit to nonnas.

Begin with house-made fluffy focaccia and match with a range of shared dishes like the famed prosciutto and melon combo, gooey stracciatella, fresh basil pesto and a mountain of ripe, locally sourced cherry tomatoes. A must-order pizza was the “Franco”, their signature with tomato, pork fennel sausage, mushrooms and olives, and it must be ordered with the three crust dippers (roast garlic, hot sauce, Franco pesto). For dessert, we wouldn’t look past the tiramisu. With pasty chef Johannah in the kitchen, it’s clear she knows exactly what she’s doing. The sponge is spongy (which we all know can often not be the case when sliding your spoon through a tiramisu), the coffee is potent and the best part, the whipped chocolate ganache through the centre (mindblowing). Perfect for sharing from the middle of the table and locking eyes with your lover.

We suggest booking in advance via the Franco Pizza Bar website.

Check out our guide to the South Coast of NSW here