Italian-born Chef Luca Cesaro (ex-Pizza Birra, Surry Hills and Criniti’s, Darling Harbour) honours the Italian tradition of using the finest ingredients to produce not only excellent pizzas but also house-made pasta and constantly changing daily specials. Concrete floors, exposed ceilings and bare brick walls are a reminder of the building’s origins as a cannery, yet Da Mario’s spacious dining room is light and airy and softened with touches of greenery.
Da Mario may be known for pizza, but other offerings are well worth sampling. Try the lightly fried, exquisitely tender calamari; crumbed olives enclosing a delicious heart of veal and pork stuffing; or four-cheese arancini that pack a lovely punch of gorgonzola. Check the blackboard for house-made pasta specials like the tagliolini granchio, which combines a creamy crab sauce with the surprising crunch of black sesame seeds.
PSST! Each day of the week has a featured dish: Tuesday, liver and tripe; Wednesday, risotto; Thursday, gnocchi; Friday, seafood; and Saturday, veal.