Dining / A taste of the ‘Academy of Pizza’

Share Canberra's trusted news:
The Porcinella pizza… a dish with a lovely kick of chilli. Photo by Maddie McGuigan

WHEN dining on pizza I never think about “AVPN”, but “AVPN” popped into my mind on a recent visit to Trecento, the new woodfired pizzeria and bar in Manuka.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

Why? Because AVPN stands for Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana and in the pizza world many think a membership in this prestigious “Academy of Pizza” is as hot as a piece of spicy pepperoni. Founded in Italy in 1984, the AVPN is devoted to training passionate folk on the century-old art of making “true Neapolitan pizza”.

Trecento’s co-owner Jon Kosteski is a “master pizza maker” and so, too, is head pizza chef Salvatore Perna, here from Italy.

The AVPN has more than 450 members internationally. Only a handful of restaurants in Australia are certified and Jon hopes Trecento will be soon.

Making authentic Neapolitan pizza is a big deal. The leavened dough matures for some time so it’s easy to digest. The base is made with a one-inch rim and thin middle. It’s sacrilege to make this traditional pizza the wrong way. Only certain ingredients are allowed and the method is sacrosanct.

My favorite is from the “pizza bianca” menu. The Porcinella is delish with a lovely kick of chilli. It’s created with quality, smooth, buffalo mozzarella, parmesan, porcini mushrooms, zingy sausage (Neapolitan, of course) and fresh basil ($22).

It is also thumbs up for the Capricciosa, a “pizza rosso” created with fresh cow’s milk cheese (made in the style of Italian mozzarella), parmesan, ham, artichoke, mushrooms, basil and more ($22). Our only recommendation, which Jon says Trecento is on to, is that the tomato sauce be further reduced so it’s thicker and more flavoursome.

Before digging into pizza, we shared the calamari, which is the best we’ve had in ages ($14). It’s incredibly tender and the chilli dust adds a nice vibe. We had fun dunking it into house-made citrus aioli and perked up our palate with the rocket salad.

We also shared four-pepper crust beef carpaccio. It had buckets of flavour – tasty with tangy pearls from rainforest finger limes, crispy capers and anchovy emulsion ($18). The strength of the emulsion has been pared back since Trecento opened. I admire restaurants that pay attention to customer feedback.

Pasta is also on the menu ($22 to $29) and desserts look yum ($13 to $16).

Trecento’s wine list is intriguing and we enjoyed a bottle or two, including a Pinot Bianco.

Trecento is where the old Mecca Bah was. Sadly, the space has been empty since 2015. The restaurant is small but well designed, with indoor and outdoor dining. It’s been transformed with its modern edge softened with warm, rustic touches throughout.

Trecento, Unit 33, Manuka Terrace, open Tuesday to Sunday. Lunch midday to 2.30pm; dinner 6pm to late. Call 6260 7111.

[supsystic-gallery id=7 position=center]

Photos by MADDIE McGUIGAN

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleDigital edition 20 July
Next articleKayla can’t stop overcoming the odds
Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

Leave a Reply