It's not just me who regards Tony Frawley as the Pizza Maestro of Cardiff.
The pizza boys from Ffwrnes (who also make a mean Neapolitan-style pizza themselves) declared Tony’s pizzas to be the best in Cardiff in their BBC TV show.
So, I was more than a little bit gutted when I heard that Tony had recently left Anatoni’s, the Wellfield Road restaurant where he's been slinging dough for the last few years. Tony and partner Anna founded the original Lakeside branch all the way back in 2012.
Thankfully, my disappointment didn’t last for too long as Tony has swiftly opened up Scaramantica on Albany Road in collaboration with the team behind the excellent Saray group of Turkish restaurants.
The Steffano Ferrara pizza oven is still in place from the building’s days as Da Mara and Agora. And the menu focuses on Neapolitan-style pizzas with a handful of good value starters and sides. On a sunny evening it’s a lovely spot to sit and soak up some rays.
A trio of tender polpette (£4) were a double threat of beef and pork. Bathed in a rich and crucially not too sweet tomato sauce, they were topped with shavings of salty and savoury pecorino.
Calamari (£5.50) looked a little pallid but they hit the mark with a crunchy exterior and a chew-free interior. A tangy thousand island-esque garlic dip was a nice change to the usual breath destroying aioli.
Onto the main event, and the pizzas delivered everything you'd expect from Tony’s handiwork; an airy leopard-spotted crust with a delicate crispness, a thin floppy base, light and fruity San Marzano tomato sauce, and creamy fior di latte mozzarella cheese were all present and correct.
A Diavola (£10.95) was topped with meaty and fiery 'nduja, charred sweet peppers, and baby peppers filled with creamy ricotta.
La Scaramantica (£11.95) was well deserving of being the restaurant's namesake pizza. Fennel seed-twanged salami, ferrous spinach, a dollop of creamy and tangy spreadable goat curd, crunchy chopped walnuts, mushrooms, and a drizzle of sweet and funky truffle honey were an absolute killer of a combination. If you're a fan of the Caruso from Tony’s days at Anatoni's then it’s an essential eat.
Scaramantica has hit the ground running and it's great to see Tony back at the pizza oven in my neck of the woods so quickly. I reckon I'm going to be eating a LOT of their pizzas.
Address - Scaramantica, 2 Penylan Road, Penylan, Cardiff CF24 3PF
Telephone - 029 2047 1183