D.O.C. Pizza e Mozzarella Bar
295 Drummond Street, Carlton
I organised a little catch-up with a few friends last week at D.O.C., a casual new-wave Melbournian pizza restaurant and mozzarella bar. I haven't been going out much lately - a combination of budgeting and being superbusy. As such, I wanted to choose a place where we could enjoy good food and wine, and have a decent conversation, without one dominating the other. I hadn't been to D.O.C. before, but my brother highly recommended it, and I thought it would fit the bill nicely.
Our group's interest in food ranged from 'super-obsessed' to 'Isn't prosciutto a soccer player?', and we were all satisfied with our experience.
For example, check out my friend's RSVP to my invitation:
Yo Yo Missy S
I will be there at 6.30pm!!
PS dont say anything to anyone, as I dont want to look stupid,because you know Im cool, but what the hell does the DOC stand for hehehe
Ma, cosa significa D.O.C.? D.O.C. stands for Denominazione d'Origine Controllata, an Italian appellation and quality assurance label for food products, especially wine.
The interior: sexy photo of Sofia Loren, incredible meat slicer (it's red and would match my KitchenAid Espresso machine, hint hint), blackboard with specials, mozzarella bar, massive jar of Nutella on top.
I had a glass of DOC prosecco to start with. (I can't remember the name or region, but it if you're interested in ordering it, it's the only prosecco available by the glass). I like to start with something bubbly. But I find champagne can be too full of expectation. And it was great! Only slightly sweet and just delicious, worlds away from the cheap-ass super-sweet proseccos that I sometimes buy from Aldi. (I'm not sure if I should admit that, but I guess it's too late now). The drinks list also features a range of imported beers, DOC wines and some Italian juices and soft drinks.
We started with a selection of cured meats and mozzarella...
San Daniele prosciutto with grissini and mozzarella
There were 5 of us. Did we go a bit overboard...? Or maybe I was trying to subconsciously recreate my beloved German cold-cut-dinners. From top left: Salami with buffalo mozzarella; selection of 3 meats with mozzarella; prosciutto with mozzarella.
A crispy, doughy focaccia to go with all those tasty meats
Adesso, le pizze. We ordered 3 to share between us, which turned out to be a good amount. I was having such a good time talking and laughing with my friends that I didn't take good notice of all the names of the pizzas. I hope there aren't mistakes! Mi dispiace! With our pizze, I chose yet another DOC vino from the list, a chianti.
Porchetta Pizza - this was actually brought to our table by mistake. But I got a sneaky photo in before they took it away. Heh. I'm a conscientious blogger.
Pizza Parma - San Daniele proscuitto, buffalo mozzarella, and tomato.
Pizza ai porcini - mushroom pizza. My favourite of the night.
Salad with gorgonzola, walnuts and radicchio. Interestingly, I had convince my friends to let me order a salad. Am I the only person who likes salad with my meal? Or are my friends all just meat 'n' wheat munching vultures? Do you win friends with salad?
The salad was great, and I really enjoyed the pizzas. They were quite doughy but still very crisp, with well thought-out, tasty toppings. I thought that the pizzas had just the right ratio of dough-to-topping. They were a little salty for my taste, but I tend to season my food quite sparingly at home.
Dessert. I chose the goat's cheese tiramisu with pavesini biscuits. I was intrigued: I once procured a recipe from one of my co-workers for her mother's tiramisu, which also uses pavesini (i.e. thin, crunchy rusk biscuits) rather than the more usual savoiardi. I haven't gotten around to making that recipe yet, so I was very keen to try a pavesini-based tiramisu.
Fabulous! I can't say I totally detected the presence of goat's cheese. I mean, it was different from an ordinary tiramisu, but had I not been told that it contained goat's cheese, I wouldn't have been able to figure out what it was. I loved the balance of the textures and flavours, especially the fact that the biscuits had absorbed the coffee liquid, rather than being soggily drowned in it. I am now totally pumped to try that pavesini-tiramisu recipe.
For those who are interested in such things, D.O.C. makes great coffees too. (Brunetti is just across the street, but there's no need to traipse over there in the cold weather).
Love the cup! It reminded my bro and I of the fabulous cappuccini we'd have for breakfast when we were in Rome.
We had a great night! The food and drinks were wonderful, and we found that the atmosphere was totally conducive to conversation. Significantly, for a place that places such an emphasis on the quality of their food, the ambiance and waitstaff were refreshingly relaxed and attitude-free. Hurrah! For such a casual meal, it felt a little pricey - around $45 per person - but considering that we each had a drink or two, and that many of their ingredients are imported or air-freighted, it seems fair.