An immutable rule of urban transformation: if a yoga studio and organic cafe open in the area, artisan pizza will surely follow. And so we have the recent appearance of Acqua e Farina Woodfire Pizza, at the corner of Murray Road and Gilbert Road, right in the heart of the exclusive Preston Hill enclave.
The interior is a surprisingly welcoming fusion of surgical theatre and urban trattoria, and reminds us a lot of DOC Carlton.
The menu has a good range of pizzas, as well as pastas and other dishes. Some locals might be disappointed by the lack of any novelty pizza names referencing the area (ie the Northern Bullants Special or the Crusty Cramer). Others will see this as a plus.
The pizza is excellent, with a perfectly thin and chewy and crunchy and yeasty crust. For those who used to make the pilgrimage to Heidelberg for Pizza Amici before it changed hands, the Acqua e Farina pizza is fairly similar.
Acqua e Farina already has a strong following: on the evening we visited it was very busy, and all parking in the area was occupied. The kitchen team are obviously very experienced, as they managed the orders with no problems at all.
The best pizza the CPL Newsline team sampled was the smoked ham pizza with artichokes. The most artisanal pizza was the Napolitana: olives, caper berries and anchovies scattered sparsely across a cheesy tomato canvas.
Central Preston: catering to the upper crust.