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The best Italian eatery in Gauteng

Coalition – Rosebank’s Neapolitan-style pizza spot – won the Best Italian Eatery category for Gauteng at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries on Tuesday night. This year’s winners were chosen by means of a two-step process. All user reviews from the period 1 October 2016 to 30 August 2017 were used to create shortlist of restaurants. Then, our critics set out to put the front-runners through the gauntlet. The winners are a result of a composite rating; 50-50 users to critics.

Here’s why our readers and critics loved them.

The Neapolitan-style pizza at The Coalition takes two days to rise. Photo by Kate Liquorish.

From the readers:

“Had never eaten a Neapolitan style pizza before and was worried about the thicker base, but have to admit that the pizza at Coalition is incredible. It’s a bit of a different experience to a normal pizza base, but once I wrapped my head around that I truly fell in love. Most of the people I was dining with went for pizzas with toppings and, while good, I do believe that my plain and simple no-fancy-toppings pizza was the winner of the day. 10/10, would definitely recommend.”
– Simone Serra

“As an Italian from Naples who grew up with a wood-fired pizza oven at home, I was extremely skeptical when I heard of this restaurant. That said, as soon as I smelled the wood burning from the authentic pizza oven and the freshly made tomato sauce, my skepticism quickly started to melt away. The pizzas at Coalition blew my expectations out of the water! The dough is exquisite, the ingredients fresh and the cooking done to perfection. To top it all off, the coffee is excellent too! I highly recommend this restaurant to all true pizza lovers.”
– Silvia Tanga

The understated hip interior at The Coalition. Photo by Kate Liquorish.

“Absolutely delicious! I am so excited that this pizza joint has moved into our neighbourhood. My husband lived in Italy for a little bit so has always been a bit snobby about his pizza – when he bit into the burrata salad with prosciutto he said, “I am happy” and when he tasted the pizza he said “This is how pizza is supposed to taste”. Coming from him, those are huge compliments! Yum!”
– Renata Strychaz

From the critic:

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine

Food

Small menus mean that you know that the chef has focused on perfecting every single dish. You also don’t waste time deliberating on what to eat.

Here there are all of eight pizza toppings to choose from – and two are pizza Bianca, which means no tomato base. Striking the perfect balance between a thick and thin crust, the Cedare and the Leviso are simply delicious. The Cedare comes with spicy salami, kalamata olives, roasted garlic and blue cheese; while the Leviso is topped with white anchovies, capers and fresh basil.

One of Coalition’s glorious pizzas. Photo supplied.

The beauty of these pizzas is the restraint of toppings. Splitting two pizzas and a salad is a good idea for a couple. There are three options on the menu – the House salad with burrata, prosciutto, artichokes, and rocket; the well-known Caprese; and the Celery salad, which is made with celery, lemon, parmesan, parsley, red onion and anchovies. And, just in case you’re not in the mood for pizza, there are also meat and fish options (slow-cooked beef short rib or Cape salmon).

Dessert is a choice between tiramisu, panna cotta or affogato (vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso) rounds off the meal quite satisfactorily.

Drinks

The minimalist approach extends to their wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages. But don’t fear – you’ll definitely find a good sauvignon blanc, chenin, red or Prosecco available by the bottle or glass.

The outside area at Coalition. Photo supplied.

Service

Efficient and relaxed service, with communication from the waiter only happening when necessary, makes this a go-to neighbourhood lunch or dinner choice if you’re in the Parks area.

Ambience

With a few window seats available, it’s perfect for the lone customer working through lunch or enjoying a quiet drink while watching passersby. The restaurant does not need more than the simplicity offered – there are just a few square tables and utilitarian-style but rather comfortable chairs.

And…

Try an aperitif like the Aperol Spritz, Americano or Inverroche and tonic to whet your appetite. There’s also secure parking behind the restaurant and, if you’re up for a little nightcap and dance, head to Sin + Tax after your meal.

Have you been to Coalition in Rosebank? Write a review now.

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

 

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