I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published October 16th 2011
After an afternoon shopping or a quiet walk along West Lake at dusk, stop by Sportivo Pizzeria & Café and enjoy gourmet pizza as the sun sets. My friend and I did the latter and it was my first trip to West Lakes. Remembering that I hail from Melbourne, I innocently didn't realise there was a lake at West Lakes and it was a beautiful surprise. My friend lives only a street away and I felt so jealous to think this setting was right on his doorstep.
We walked along the boardwalk around the lake, the setting sun shining right in our eyes, admiring our surroundings like the expensive mansions with full length windows. What really got our senses going though was the smell of delicious food wafting from one of the kitchens. There are a few eateries along the lake so we ducked into Italian café, Sportivo.
While it was an early dinner at 5pm, there were already a few couples there which gradually increased to families and groups of friends. For a Thursday night, I'd say business wasn't doing too badly at all. The real family feel it had to it suggested that the customers were locals who regularly dined there.
Given the banner "WOOD OVEN PIZZA" that hung from the lake-side entrance door made our decision easy. What wasn't so easy was which flavour pizza to try so we agreed on sharing two and choosing one flavour each. The toppings sounded so gourmet and different to the usual fanfare that we were definitely out of our comfort zone but excited to be so. One had a sticky balsamic vinegar dressing, another char-grilled chicken pieces, a pesto base on a capricciosa and other toppings including artichokes, pumpkin or Italian sausage.
I indulged in the White Prosciutto while my friend stayed safe with the Classic Margherita. The prosciutto was delicious, so delicious that I noticed my friend peeling it off, eating the pizza and then devouring the piece of meat as he loved it so much. The sliced potatoes, gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese made it heaven for me. I often think pizza is too good to just have margherita but I definitely appreciated the truth in less is more. Just like the experts, the Italians, only a few toppings are needed to hit the spot. The melting blobs of buffalo mozzarella, the rich-red tomatoes and shredded basil did it for us. The thin and crispy bases were an authentic touch.
What really made the night for me was the setting. It was just a little too chilly to sit outside so we sat just inside, watching the lake disappear as the night's darkness grew. With a full belly and a view that's hard to beat, it was a worthy adventure West and a place I'll definitely revisit.
Why? Dine in for delicious Italian fare including calzone, foccaccia, pasta, risotto, seafood/meat mains, wood oven pizza and Italian desserts like tiramisu and gelati overlooking the water of West Lakes.
When:Open for breakfast Friday-Sunday, lunch and dinner open 7 days