Pizza! need we say any more? Well actually yes, we think you’ll want to hear this. European haven ELMOS has opened its door (a funky red door to be precise) on Ponsonby’s strip. Taking over what was once Mr Toms, the quirky pizza bar is bringing a splash of European razzle-dazzle to Ponsonby.
The brains behind much-loved craft beer spot Hoppers Garden Bar, sisters Bronwyn and Jessica Payne, have done it again, totally transforming a space into a work of art. Having also previously opened ‘The Pizza Library’ at the Mount, the duo certainly know a thing or two about pizza. “We are massive foodies and we are very passionate about pizza,” says Bronwyn. And thankfully, they have brought their signature flair and love for the cheesy pies to Auckland.
Now unrecognisable, the space which was once Ponsonby favourite Mr Toms has totally been transformed into an explosion of big, bold and beautiful European decor. Taking pride of place perched on the bar is David, a Michelangelo-esque sculpture, making sure you choose the right tipple, of course. The Queen B has to be the classic European marble bar, made from old vintage oak doors and let’s just take a moment to appreciate the glistening chandeliers, which literally make you want to take some advice from Sia and swing from them.
The walls are plastered with eccentric paintings, just like those in Hoppers, which in fact are painted by Jessica and Bronwyn’s very own talented mum. While the kitchen is run by Chef Fabrizio Napolitana from Naples (of course), who helped to open one of the world’s best pizzerias, so we think it’s fair to say that they’ve got it pretty sussed when it comes to pizza.
So, without further ado, shall we talk about the grub? (We know that’s what you’ve been waiting for)
The menu is home to 12 delicious pizzas, yes you read that right, that’s 12 doughy, cheesy, delectable pizzas for you to sink your teeth into. And these bad boys aren’t just your ordinary pepperoni slice, they’re filled with healthy and hearty ingredients that you never would have thought of putting on a pizza. Oh and wait for the names, they’re just as good as how they taste.
Cheese fiends unite! The four-cheese pizza, otherwise known as Discovery of Honey will certainly suffice. Made up of Mozzarella, taleggio, gruyere and gorgonzola—is your mouth-watering yet?—and topped with almonds, spiced honey and crispy sage.
A must-try is the Robert De Niro, a white base mozzarella pizza with a spicy sausage, turnip leaf, olive cream and smoked cheese topping—it really is the godfather of all pizzas (pun intended).
The pineapple on pizza debate has been around for a while now, but what about peach? Check out this cheeky bite, which is sure to change your mind—the Orlando Blue plays on the whole melon and Prosciutto fare. The saltiness of the aged prosciutto is complimented by the gorgonzola blue cheese, while the honey glazed peach adds a little sumthin sweet to the palate.
Our top pick has to be the Tikka Chance on Me, the woodfired chicken tikka, served with Raita, a traditional Indian cucumber dipping sauce and it's literally the pizza of dreams. Each bite transports you to pizza heaven, if there was ever such a thing.
ELMOS' range of Burratas will make you melt, the heavenly, creamy, oozing cheese are a hell of a gouda time (sorry we had to). The Hottie With A Bodie served in a pool of pesto and topped with candied tomatoes and toasted pinenuts is melt-in your mouth perfection or maybe you'll want to plump for Don’t Truffle With Me, filled with truffle cream and served on a mushroom and pancetta ragu. Yum!
To wash down all that cheesy goodness, you’re going to need a tipple or two. The drinks list is rammed with a variety of NZ and European wines, but it’s not the wine that’s caught our eye, it’s the killer cocktail list. Opt for the Yellow Limoncello Spritz and be transported to the Gulf of Naples or if you’re after something a little different the Who Shot The President won’t disappoint. Served in a dribbling President Tiki cup, this boozy number is a rum-filled beverage, that you could sip on all night long.
So, if you’re after an escape to Europe, while travelling through an intriguing, mesmerizing galaxy, all while munching on some top-notch pizza, then stop what you’re doing and take a step down the rabbit hole, to find yourself in the wonderland that is ELMOS Pizza Bar.
Image credit: Wono Kim