MELBOURNE | Figlia is the new venue from Andreas Papadakis, Alberto Fava, and Luke Skidmore – the team behind Tipo 00 and Osteria Illaria. It’s a ostensibly a pizzeria, a pizzeria in the same way that Tipo 00 is a pasta spot. Pizza is a focus, but there’s a whole lot more on the menu, ranging from snacks to larger bites.
The space opened on Thursday, and when I walked past on opening day, of course I had to pop in. 20 minutes after opening, the space was already full, and an hour later, when I went inside for dinner (after a drink at the excellent Uncle Joe’s a few metres up the road), the restaurant was heaving.
Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s was one of the inspirations for Figlia and, having been to Roberta’s a few times, it’s easy to see that. Figlia is a ostensibly a pizzeria, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s a pizzeria in the same way that Tipo 00 is a pasta spot. Pizza is what Figlia will likely be known for, but there’s a whole lot more on the menu, ranging from snacks to larger bites.
Pizzas use head chef Flavio Argenio’s 48 hour fermented light sourdough base. Toppings include things like house pork sausage, radicchio, and scamorza; Moreton Bay bug with tomato and marjoram; and ox tongue with roasted garlic and pecorino. All cooked in a flash in a hybrid gas-woodfired oven and is brilliant.
Other dishes include things like vitello tonnato that swaps out the traditional tuna sauce with a smoked eel one; chicken liver skewers with, balsamic onion, and oregano; and cacio e pepe arancini topped with mountain pepper aioli. It’s all very good.
To drink, it’s a handful of house cocktails and the classics, along with local craft beers, and an impressive wine list that leans towards Italian varietals and minimal intervention drops.
Cheese will soon be made on site by pastry chef turned cheesemaker Lucy Whitlow. The team are also opening a deli opening next door in a few weeks, Grana. You’ll be able to purchase cheese, smallgoods, and all kinds of other good stuff for home.
I don’t usually visit new places in the first month, giving them time to find their feet, but at Figlia the staff barely skipped a beat. Friendly, knowledgeable, efficient service, and a great buzz about the whole venue. If this is what day one was like, I can’t wait to see how Figlia evolves as it settles into the neighbourhood. Strip away the hype and anticipation, and you can tell that the team want this to be a proper local’s spot, without any pretension.
331 Lygon Street
Telephone: 0402 349 327
Mon, Wed – Fri: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat: 1:00pm to 10:00pm
Sun: 1:00pm to 10:00pm