BSP’ERIA or Bridge Street Pizzeria is a brand new pizza place on Bridge Street in Penshurst. They offer up a pizza menu of just six selections. There is the option for takeout or grab a stool and a milkcrate and eat your pizza piping hot on the street. So what are the pizzas like?
"They're Italian, definitely," says Marco looking at the menu. "This is a menu written by an Italian". "Yeah I don't think so," says Monica. She had tried messaging them the number to order earlier in Italian and didn't get a response. It turns out they're both right. The people behind Bridge Street pizzeria are Michael Sgourdas and Mick Abboud. They're not Italian but enlisted help from their friend Stefano De Caro from Cicerone in Surry Hills.
"Mick and I are high school besties who grew up in Redfern,our friendship (more like a brother) spans to over 30 years. I have been in hospitality my whole life whilst Mick has a finance background but strong passion for food," explains Michael. His background was in coffee but the idea of owning a pizza business was always in the back of his mind. Mick came across the site tucked under Penshurst train station - with a coffee shop next door coffee was out of the question so it was pizza. It took 8 months to get the concept right. "Stef was and is instrumental to the way we operate. We could not have done it without him. Guy is a legend," says Michael.
We were put onto them by chef friend Shae who lives nearby. While it is early days for the pizzeria it looks well folded into the landscape with the old awning and lights outside - that's deliberate to match the village feel and aesthetic. For their first pizza place, or even for an established pizza place their pizzas are accomplished. The crust is crisp and thin and the sides puffy like they've been slinging dough for a long time.
The other thing that I have to tell you about it is if you google Bridge St Pizzeria is that there's almost no trace of it on google, it goes under BSP’ERIA. Also google doesn't know the exact address linked on their Instagram page and takes you around the corner. It's located at the Northern side of Penshurst station right near the stairs. We park around the corner, walk across and here we are.
There are a few stools and milk crate tables for you to eat outside which is my preference because I love hot pizza with oozy toppings. But if you're planning to go order ahead of time. When Monica texted to order they told us to come 1 hour 45 minutes later because even in these early days they're popular. The pizzas have a sourdough crust and are made by a mix of Australian and Italian flours fermented for 24-48 hours. The pizza dough took 4 months to perfect.
Margherita $22 with Stracciatella added $4
Given that we've got a small table made up of 2 milk crates we decide to try two pizzas at a time. Monica loves a classic Margherita and this one has tomato, mozz, sweet basil and grana padano cheese to which we added some stracciatella. She takes the first piece and nods eagerly. It gets her approval. Meanwhile Marco is at the bottle shop getting drinks and Mr NQN and I are busy taking photos and the smell is driving us crazy. "It's so good," she says and we quickly get our photos and take a bite. The crust is so thin and crisp and the edges puffy and made for dipping in the whipped ricotta dip with hot maple. Monica also adds an anchovy on top of her pizza from the side dish of stracciatella grape tomato, anchovy and basil side salad.
Whipped Ricotta Dip and hot maple $9 and Straciayella, grape tomato, anchovies and basil $12
Uncle Charlie $25
I'm really growing to love white base pizzas - usually I flock towards red bases because I love tomato but the white based uncle Charlie is the favourite pizza of night for everyone. It has a white base, nduja, ricotta, honey and parsley. It's the perfect combination of flavours tied together with that sweet honey that turns hot because of the nduja.
After smashing these two pizzas we open up the next two. The Funguy is topped with truffle cream, a mix of mushrooms, mozzarella and thyme. It's very good with a robust flavour and any vegetarian would be very happy with this choice as would any meat lover.
Hot Pepperoni $26
Then we try the classic hot pepperoni with tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, hot maple and pecorino. Hot honeys seem to be having a moment especially with pizzas as an add on but this one comes with it already one. I think I'd prefer this as an optional add on because I love a classic savoury hot pepperoni but it's a very good pizza.
The four pizzas we ordered are so good that I jump up mid-slice and see if I can order an extra one: the prawn pizza. They quickly slide our order into the queue. I'm so glad that we ordered this one as it's probably my favourite of the night after the Uncle Charlie (and I'm not usually a prawn pizza person favouring pepperoni). It has grape tomatoes, prawns, stracciatella, rocket and almonds. It's a wonderful mix of flavours and light crunch from the almonds. The prawns are perfectly cooked and still juicy and although I had intended to share a piece with Mr NQN as I had already eaten so much pizza I end up having two slices of this.
So tell me Dear Reader, which pizza would you pick? Do you like white based pizzas? Are you a fan of thin and crispy crust or thick and doughy crust?
This meal was independently paid for.
2C Bridge St, Penshurst NSW 2222 (northern side of Penshurst train station)
Open Wednesday to Sunday 5-9pm
Phone: 0434 999 901