Now Open: 170 Grammi Is the Roman-Style Pizzeria From the Via Napoli Crew That's Dishing Up Carbonara Pizza in Surry Hills

Even when you're not in Rome, you can do as the Romans do thanks to the latest game-changing venue from Sydney's OG pizza pioneer.
Maxim Boon
Published on June 14, 2024

Luigi Esposito, the pizzaiolo who helped ignite Sydney's love of woodfired pizza through his wildly popular Surry Hills institutions Via Napoli and Pizza Fritta 180, has added yet another venue to his mozzarella-topped empire. With his first two restaurants on Crown Street, Esposito told the story of Neapolitan pizza — both the traditional iteration and its flash-fried street-food cousin. Now, with his latest venture, he's shifting the narrative away from Naples to focus on the cuisine of Rome.

Located on the corner of Crown and Foveaux streets (in the former digs of Pizza Fritta 180, which has moved in next door to Via Napoli, just up the road), 170 Grammi is so named for the exact amount of dough — just 170 grams per 13-inch pizza — required to create the thin and crispy base that distinguishes Roman slices from their Neapolitan counterparts. Rather than the pliant, doughy chew and bubbly, charred crust that Sydneysiders are familiar with, 170 Grammi's pizzas are all about the crunch, and the counterpoint of textures between the molten toppings and the crisp base beneath.

"We've made them using the traditional 'la tonda scrocchiarella Romana' or round style that was popular in the 1950s," Esposito said, although with a few of the 13 variations on the menu, he's also breaking with tradition.

Transcribing the flavours of Rome's most-beloved pasta dishes, toppings include the simple crowd-pleaser of cacio e pepe — and the silken yet salty combo of egg, guanciale pork and pecorino romano of the a'carbonara. The restaurant's signature dish is the porchetta di ariccia, featuring slow-roasted porchetta alla Romana and smoked scamorza mingled with roasted rosemary-kissed potatoes, and showcases a family recipe passed on to Luigi from his father-in-law Tonino Toscano.

"I'm so pleased to be able to recognise my wife and her family in one of our pizzerias," Esposito said.

The menu also features the best Roman-style antipasti, including suppli (the Italian capital's riff on arancini) and trippa alla Romana — tripe in a piquant tomato sauce — as well as an affordable wine offering with no bottles priced over $65.

And it's not just 170 Grammi's pizzas — each cooked at 300 degrees for just three minutes in the kitchen's custom-built woodfired oven — that will have Sydneysiders queuing around the block, just as they did when Pizza Fritta 180 first opened in 2020 at the same address. A classic Roman-style dessert, the maritozzi, which features a soft brioche-style bun filled to bursting with sweetened whipped cream, is sure to become the new obsession of sweet-toothed Sydneysiders everywhere.

Find 170 Grammi at 428 Crown Street, Surry Hills, open 5–10pm Wednesday–Sunday — head to the venue's website for more details.

Images: Trent van der Jagt.

Published on June 14, 2024 by Maxim Boon
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