This new Italian kid on the block is showcasing regional Neapolitan cuisine at its finest.
Anyone who has visited Naples may well know of the narrow arterial street, Spacca (meaning “split” in English), that dissects the ancient city into two halves. Fittingly, this is also the name given to a new culinary resident serving up superb regional Italian fare in Remuera’s Upland Road.
It might be owner Gino Buonacore’s first venture, however it would seem he’s got the recipe right. Employing the expertise of ex O’Sarracino owner and chef Gaetano Spinosa in the kitchen, with the help of his veteran pizza-making father, Antonio, Spacca is serving up a series of Neapolitan specialties that are anything but your run-of-the-mill Italian cuisine. Having only been open a number of weeks, this stylish little eatery has so far attracted the attention of savvy local gourmands and those who know a promising gastronomic newcomer when they see one.
Taking two dinner sittings per night — one at 6pm and another after 8pm — the modest space that was formerly a pizzeria accommodates no more than 18 people at one time. To start, there’s a selection of seasonal antipasti on the menu that can differ on any given day, but mostly changes according to what’s in season. This is accompanied by daily home-made breads, such as the casatiello — a huge, doughnut shaped creation laced with a delicious combination of cheese, hard-boiled eggs and pancetta. Together, it’s perfect for picking away at with a Peroni prior to your meal showcasing a number of traditional Neapolitan dishes.
On the occasion that we stopped in, we were given the chance to sample several scrumptious dishes including the Acqua Pazza (meaning “crazy water”) comprising fish fillets cooked with pomodorini, parsley, garlic, prawns and salty water as well as a flavour-filled ragu, cooked over six hours and served with a rich meat sauce over pasta, and the pizzaiola — a typical pan-fried, top side schnitzel with white wine, oregano, a hearty dose of garlic and pane tostata (toasted bread). And in liquid accompaniment, there’s the Menabrea beer or the ever-exclusive Jacquart Champagne amidst a bevy of Italian wines.
As proponents of the languid way in which Italians like to dine, Buonacore is likely to be at your whim on any given visit to this new Remuera locale, ensuring that your experience is both intimate and authentic. Even if it’s just to pick up one of the finest Neapolitan pizzas you’re likely to find in Auckland.
547 Remuera Rd
(09) 520 0090