Does Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza live up to name? It's trying to, and it's charming | Review (2024)

Some restaurants, you really want to like.

That’s especially true when they’re bright and modish, with atmospheres unique to the area and that supply food that isn’t otherwise present where they are. Double it when “where they are” are downtown districts. I’m a fool for downtowns.

I really wanted to like Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza.

It rings all the bells: It is cheerful, open, stylish and immaculate, with a fairly large dining room plus streetside dining at the front. You can watch pizzas being prepared and baked at the back, and Lord knows the people who work there are busy. It is a popular place, the sole remaining pizzeria in downtown Melbourne.

Pizza and its derivatives (calzoni) are what Mr. 01 does, along with salads and a burrata bar; you won’t find steaks, pasta dishes or any of the usual there, and good for Mr. 01 for sticking to what it is (ostensibly) good at.

We’ve been there four times, with a certain sameness to our orders: salads, Caprese and otherwise; pizzas; a calzone.

You start with warm, slightly salty, crisp flatbread, which comes in a folded-over brown bag, and it really is a delight, with a sprig of rosemary stuck in there for a little scent.

Does Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza live up to name? It's trying to, and it's charming | Review (1)

The Caesar salad ($10.99), like the five others Mr. 01 offers, is huge, probably too much for a single diner, and it really was cold, fresh and quite enjoyable, though by no means the Caesar one would expect from a higher-end restaurant, with eggs, Worcestershire and anchovies tossed tableside.

Caprese ($13.99) was pretty to behold, with its slices of fior de latte, tomatoes, better-than-average balsamic dressing and shredded basil. That it was arranged on a nicked-up wooden board especially annoyed a fellow diner, who happens to be a respected chef, as did the meager amount of basil and less-than-premium (or red) tomatoes.

I agreed. Lose the boards, Brevard restaurants; they’re too hard to keep sanitized and tend to warp and look terrible after much use.

On our first visit, we went with one of Mr. 01’s trademark 13-inch “star” pizzas ($18.99), in this case, with olives, mushrooms and ham as well as the crust folded over dollops of ricotta cheese. It was all right, with flavor lent primarily by the meat; the gimmick, which has been around Italy for years, did nothing for it.

More: Grumpy's comes through with a just-right biscuit, menu and service | Review

One thing you must give to Mr. 01, however, is that its crust, which is kind of a step up from flatbread, has a lovely texture and taste. That was true of the pizzas we ordered on our last visit, a Bella Margherita ($16.99) and a cheese pizza with Prosciutto di Parma ($14.99 plus $4.99) which our Italy-schooled chef wisely ordered cooked with the pizza and not applied to the finished pie.

Neither pizza had any flavor to speak of; they were utterly bland, except for the salt lent by the prosciutto. No one expected spicy sauce, but this was beyond plain: no rosemary, no oregano, no anything. Precious little basil topped the Margherita, which also had a shortage of cheese. Truthfully, it tasted like Hunt’s sauce poured over that decent crust.

Does Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza live up to name? It's trying to, and it's charming | Review (2)

I went with the small, plain calzone ($18.99), which was nicely light on the outside and a lump of warm mozzarella within, another underachiever.

For the third visit in a row, we had a Nutella pizza ($8.99), which does have its chocolatey charms, though it’s kind of difficult to have more than one slice. It is a terrific idea, though.

That’s it. Nothing is wrong with Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza that a sprinkle of something or other couldn’t fix, and it still is clean, cheerful and charming. Because we’d love to upgrade this review, we’ll be back.

Lyn Dowling is a freelance food and lifestyles writer based in Melbourne.

Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza

Two and a half stars

Address: 635 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays nd Saturdays

Call: 321-455-5058

Online: www.mistero1.com/melbourne

Other: Beers and wines; vegetarian dishes; outdoor seating

About our reviews

Restaurants are rated on a five-star system by FLORIDA TODAY’s reviewer. The reviews are the opinion of the reviewer and take into account quality of the restaurant’s food, ambiance and service. Ratings reflect the quality of what a diner can reasonably expect to find. To receive a rating of less than three stars, a restaurant must be tried twice and prove unimpressive on each visit. Each reviewer visit is unannounced and paid for by FLORIDA TODAY.

Does Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza live up to name? It's trying to, and it's charming | Review (3)

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: With a sprinkle of something, this pizza place could shine | Review

Does Mr. 01 Extraordinary Pizza live up to name? It's trying to, and it's charming | Review (2024)
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