Reviewed by Georgia Cassimatis
If there’s one thing that instantly stands out when walking into Italian restaurant Casa Mia Osteria, its name rings true: a cosy, warm diner where we feel ‘at home’. It also helps when owners, born-and-raised Italians Andrea Nazzari and chef Valerio Boncompagni, welcome us into their rustic Osteria with big beaming grins.
Such is the famed hospitality of Italian restaurants as such, that this ‘homey’ atmosphere in itself is worth experiencing. While the warm welcomes, large bar and open wine rack are inviting, we’re here today to taste the famed Pinsa Romana - Roman Pizza, and Casa Mia Osteria is only one of two Italian restaurants in Sydney that make it.
An Italian delicacy, the dough is made from a combination of soy, rice and wheat flour making it a healthier alternative to traditional Napoletana pizza. The dough is fermented for up to 72 hours and baked at a lower temperature. The shape is different too; it’s long, oval and bubbly, with a fluffy crust; soft inside and crunchy on the outside. Not to stop there, because of the maturation techniques it’s easy to digest. The result is, oxymoronically, healthy pizza. Yes, I repeat, healthy pizza!
‘It’s almost gluten free,’ exclaims owner Andrea.
‘For the almost gluten-free intolerant, like myself,’ I riff. ‘There are a few of us around.’
With numerous Pinsa toppings to choose from, including pork sausage, and spicy salame, Andrea strongly suggests, that being Pinsa novices, we try the Buffalo Margherita first. In case we don’t like the Pinsa dough, the tomato sauce, bufalo mozzarella, basil, parmigiano will save the day.
But oh, how much did we love it. We were even more impressed when we didn’t have a post pizza food coma, which meant room for our next feast including the highly recommended cured meats, pasta made from Caputo: the finest Italian flour, and dessert.
The cured meats are Chef Valerio Boncompagni’s passion, something he learnt how to cook as a child growing up in Toscana. He marinates nearly 15 different herbs and spices, with no added preservatives.
Today we’re tasting the melt in your mouth Waygu Bresaola, Rolled Pancetta and Capocollo with homemade sourdough and focaccia, all of which are on display in an impressive cured meats cabinet.
While sipping my tipple of choice, the spicy margarita, next up was the Spaghetti Carbonara with homemade guanciale, egg yolk and pecorino cheese, with its smoky flavour, and our favourite: the braised Beef Ossobuco alla romana with green peas and mashed potato, the meat of which just melted in our mouths it was so soft and juicy. For this I chose Andrea’s vino rosso recommendation: a full bodied red wine, the 2020 Costadoro, Montepulciano.
Even though we were beyond satiated, we thought it criminal to leave without trying the nearly gluten free Sbriciolata (almond crumble cake) with sour cherry and ricotta. To die for.
It was while topping it all of with an Affogato that my date said: ‘Holy Moly this place is the bomb. Great service, food and atmosphere. I can even just relax and process my thoughts here.’
Ten out of ten then for the ‘Casa Mia’ experience: playful, relaxed and a great culinary experience with loved ones.
With famed backgrounds in high-end hospitality: duo Andrea Nazzari and Valerio Boncompagni, have both worked at Michelin star restaurants in their hometowns of Rome and Milan before moving to Sydney, it would be hard for them to do anything wrong. They have set the gastronomy experience bar high, very high.
Casa Mia Osteria is open Monday to Saturday for dinner and lunch on Saturdays with takeaway available. Check out: www.casamiaosteria.com.au.