Sunday, 17 February 2013

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar - Controlled Designation of Origin

Just off Lygon Street and across from the Carlton Wine Room is the D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar. People speculate what the initials D.O.C. stands for firstly. Sadly nothing easy to remember like "Department of Corrections" but instead is an abbreviation for Denominazione di origine controllata ("Controlled designation of origin") which is a quality assurance label for Italian food products, especially wines and various cheeses. An apt way to infer that the restaurant serves great produce.

When I was at the Prahran Market earlier in the week, I sourced some Australian scamorsa unsmoked mozzarella since the proper Italian buffalo mozzarella was sold out at the delicatessen. This left my being longing for some of what I couldn't have which is one of the reasons why I ended up at the D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar. They technically have a "Mozzarella Bar" section on their menu where you can purchase each of the aforementioned cheeses and match it with pesto, sardines, air cured beef, lightly smoked proscuitto, cured meats or what we opted for - San Daniele Prosciutto from Italy. It was great to match the cheese from the water buffalo's milk and when washed down with a Peroni, it was even better.

More than a dozen pizzas and a calzone are available to order from the "Pizza Bar" and the same high quality produce is used. We ordered the Pizza Speck - with smoked prosciutto, fontina, wild mushrooms and thyme ($22.50) where you have the option of substituting the cheese on the pizza with buffalo mozzarella for an additional $5.50. The introduction of the fontina (cow's milk Italian cheese) was excellent and there was a strong smell of thyme. The thin-based pizza essentially was crispy and if it was possible, every time I wanted a pizza, I would turn up here.

You have the option of dining outside on the street, which is protected by a tree. The brick building holds the air conditioning in well but not the noise. I found it can get quite loud but this is not a fine-dining option by any means, so it really doesn't matter. There is a row of seating near the fireplace that lines the wall toward the bathroom that you probably would want to avoid as you will receive an endless flow of traffic skirting past you as the happy patrons traverse the aisle to relieve themselves. Service was relatively non-existent however I noticed that if you possess an Italian accent you will be entitled to a chat and some additional enthusiasm. Once we were asked if we wanted anything else and the server posed the question and never stopped walking. I ordered a Nutella calzonocino with vanilla bean ice cream ($10.90) and an additional beer whilst the server was doing something at another table. The place wasn't packed so I thought it was bizarre that he couldn't stop for a few seconds and attend to us. Did I mention that the Nutella in the calzone was just so good that I feel guilty typing this instead of languishing at the gym and sweating it out? The opportunity cost certainly was worth it.

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar, Carlton Melbourne

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar
Link to review
295 Drummond St., Carlton VIC 3053
(03) 9347 2998
My Rating: 12.75/20
Service: 2.5/5
Ambiance: 3.25/5
Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3/5

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

At the time of this post, 85% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar.

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar on Urbanspoon