61 Davies Crescent,
(09) 523 5111
The ViewAuckland Review
Situated on a prime corner site in the Davis Crescent restaurant strip, Archie's Restaurant and Pizzeria felt a bit cavernous when we walked in.
It’s all dark wood, which provides for echo, and most of their lights were switched off. Two gas-heater poles stood sentry just inside the front door—one got switched on as dusk arrived.
We took a table at the back, where plenty of atmospheric light from the street came through the big picture windows to illuminate our meal, and from where we could also watch moviegoers circling around the streets, looking for parks.
Unfortunately on the other side of the table, unpleasant hums and neon light emanated from the kitchen.
Archie’s menu is divided into three sections with a small range in each: Italian pasta and meat dishes; pizzas, with combinations that lean to the traditional Italian; and salads, which get a bit more creative.
The two of us shared a salad and a pizza. The latter are cooked in a wood-fired oven which has pride of place in the middle of the restaurant, behind the counter.
A tag line on the menu proclaimed, “Best pizza in the world.” Well, I’ve had a lot better, both abroad and in Auckland, but our Diavolo ($21.50) was a pretty good effort.
It was served on an enormous white plate which took up most of our small table-for-two. A crackling base set the standard, topped with restrained helpings of salami, fresh tomato, basil and cheese. Restrained is good, because too much would have turned the whole thing soggy. It was let down somewhat by the cubes of “bocconcini” which were rubbery instead of milky tender, which is what fresh mozzarella should be. It also wasn’t devilishly spicy, like the Italian name promised.
The rocket salad ($18.50) was a generously heaping portion—perfect as the second component for a light meal for two. It contained goat’s cheese, halved grapes and nuts, and was well dressed with balsamic vinegar.
From a medium-sized and well-composed wine list, I had a Boundary Vineyards Waipara pinot noir ($8); and my companion had a Castiglioni Chianti ($8). Both were suitably dry and tannic to go with the pizza.
The service was as adequate and antic-free as the food.
For dessert, we shared a (OK, my companion got a few bites of my) cassata ($10.50); an ice cream made from fresh, sweet cheese and candied fruit. It was refreshingly sour and a nice precursor to some strong black espressos ($4 each).
Archies Restaurant and Pizzeria has been reviewed by 6 users