South Italy comes to Ferny Hills – the Pizzantica team opens The Cedar Social
One of the most popular under-the-radar arrivals on the foodie scene has built a cult following almost solely thanks to word of mouth. The Cedar Social, tucked away off Samford Road in Ferny Hills, is the latest community-oriented concept from the ever-busy Pizzantica team, which brought its style of authentic south-Italian fare to the suburb in early January. Folks are flocking from all over to snag a seat in The Cedar Social’s festoon light-illuminated beer garden, eager for a taste of the venue’s piping-hot pizzas, effervescent spritzes and delectable dolci.
Thanks to its origins as a mobile slice slinger, the Pizzantica team knows the lay of the land in regards to Brisbane’s culinary topography. That means the crew also knows a good opportunity when it’s presented. Before the Christmas break, the team, which operates Amalfi Pizzeria in Clayfield and another outlet at New Farm’s Casa Italia, was approached by Pure Tennis Ferny Hills on Samford Road, which was seeking an experienced operator to transform and take over its small pro shop and canteen space. The site, though unconventional on first glance, had the makings of something special – a spacious open-air garden seemed perfect for a casual and relaxed dining setting, plus the suburb and its surrounding catchment was clamouring for more dining options, particularly in the realm of authentic Italian cuisine. Over a five-week period that stretched across Christmas and New Years, the Pizzantica team transformed the space into The Cedar Social – a family-friendly beer garden and laid-back dispensary of Italian eats. Festoon lights were strung, neon signs hung, wooden benches placed, pizza ovens and pizzeria equipment installed, walls were given a pleasing teal-and-orange colour scheme, and an arched entranceway was erected near the car park. At night the space comes alive, with plenty of room for groups to gather and space for kids to play.
Naturally, The Cedar Social’s menu is based around a strong backbone of pizza, with 14 varieties (including three vegan-friendly options) available to choose from. The eatery’s pizzaioli make their product the Neapolitan way, with pillowy mounds of fresh dough hand-stretched to order before being loaded up with ingredients and slung into the pizza oven to cook at a scorching 400 degrees. Group’s can jostle over slices of classic margherita, loaded capricciosa and spicy salami-topped diavola, or get fancy with a prawn-loaded gamberi, truffle-oil drizzled tartufo and the always delectable four-cheese pizza. While we’re pretty gung-ho when it comes to pizza (can you blame us?), there is more on The Cedar Social’s menu worth trying, including housemade pork-and-beef bolognese lasagna, truffle-and-mushroom gnocchi, antipasti boards, cheesy garlic focaccia and flash-fried, ricotta-filled cannolis. Despite its concise size, The Cedar Social’s beverage menu offers plenty of quaffing material – including some left-of-centre sips. A tight wine list boasts three reds, two whites, one sparkling wine and two specialty drops – a Corrado Tonelli ‘Visner di Pergola’ that has been fermented on cherries, and a wild-fermented Vej Bianco Antico. Guests can also kick back with a beer tower (filled with Peroni, Stone & Wood or The Cedar Social’s own house lager) an aperitvo (think spritzes, negronis and mimosas) or some tasty mocktails. The Cedar Social also opens in the mornings for a pared-back coffee and breakfast service, slinging cups of Merlo coffee, smoothies, milkshakes, ham-and-cheese toasties, croissants, toast with spreads and a selection of counter treats.
At this stage The Cedar Social is not offering takeaway and, considering the high demand, making a booking is highly recommended. For operating hours and booking details, head to the Stumble Guide.
Images: Dino Renda
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.