by Claire Lassam | When Brandon Petit and Molly Wizenberg were playing with recipes before opening Delancey’s (their Seattle pizza restaurant), they tried tricking their home oven into getting hotter by putting cold wet rags on its thermometer. The pair did eventually get the temperature close to 900F, where the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana” says it needs to be for a proper Neapolitan pizza to blossom. The association also says that in order to be a true pizza it also has to be 35cm in width, cooked in a domed oven, be no more then 1/3 cm thick in the centre, and much more besides.
What I’m saying here, is that it’s virtually impossible to make “true” Neapolitan pizza at home. And if you try the wet rag trick, I am not to be blamed for whatever the effort incurs. It sounds like a terrible idea, no matter the dedication t0 authenticity. But good pizza does takes dedication. It takes skill, and if it goes right, it rewards magically.
My mission for the perfect, authentic slice in Vancouver needed parameters. I wasn’t going to slice shops, even though I love the odd slice. They sit under heat lamps and don’t hold up nicely all alone. That meant I needed to get a full pizza every time. I also only went to five places that aimed for authentic, thin crust pizza, and to make it the most fair I only went for the Margherita – the classic tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil pie (to match the colours of the Italian flag).
I started at Lombardo’s on The Drive, in the heart of what is supposed to be our Little Italy. They’d been around since 1986, I thought, and so must have learned a thing or two. Sadly, the dough was nearly flavourless, and it was way too chewy. The sauce was heavy, and the crust was to0 thick. The mission didn’t start out with a bang… Read more
Rarely do restaurants open on time, but Pizzeria Farina, as promised, opened its doors tonight at 915 Main Street (just off Prior next to The Cobalt). Since it’s just around the corner from our house we made a quick first pass to pick up some pies, which we made short work of in the park. Prices were very reasonable, and I don’t think we waited more than 15 minutes. It was cool seeing them immediately busy, a testament, no doubt, to the mean social media game they play. It’s way too soon to pass full judgment (first night and all), but I think their experimentation with crust paid off. I’ll be going a few more times before I give it a proper write up, either here or in the paper. Suffice it to say that I look forward to comparing it to others (eg. Campagnolo across the street) and attempting to place it in the burgeoning pantheon of Vancouver pizzerias. But there’s plenty of time for that. In any event, it sure is nice having another restaurant open in the hood. Keep ‘em coming!
We’ve invited the new Nicli Antica Pizzeria on East Cordova to join our GOODS section as a recommended local restaurant that is well worth checking out. They’re now proud members of Scout, and as such we’ll be publishing their news front and center and hosting a page for them on our list of independent goodnesses. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of Scout, and hope you’ll take this chance to get to know them a little better…
These shots came my way this evening…
The delay is driving me crazy. They’re looking to open within a week or so from what I hear. Never heard of Nicli Antica Pizzeria? Short story: it’s worth knowing about. Long story: I encapsulated a couple weeks ago:
If you’re a pizza wonk like me and have been patiently drooling for months waiting for the opening of Gastown’s Nicli Antica Pizzeria (which aims to be the first certified Neapolitan pizzeria in BC), then you’ll have noticed that their latest target date for opening (mid-December) came and went without any pizza in your mouth. Sigh. The good news is that owner Bill McCaig has hired his key staff, finished the floors, installed the neon signage, had his electrical and plumbing inspected, made an appointment with Intertek to test his Acunto wood-burning oven so that it meets ULC standards and released his menu (read it after the jump). The bad news is that work continues at 62 East Cordova, and we won’t – if all goes according to this new plan – be able to sup at the 40 seater until January (originally, he had hoped for early last summer). Double sigh. Oh well. Patience, right?
Bill McCaig | Proprietor
David Tozer | Chef
Brianna Weins | Assistant Manager
William Johnson | Lead Bartender
About Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Finally open and properly filling the void in Vancouver’s pizza scene is Nicli Antica Pizzeria. Immediately considered the best pizza in Vancouver by many, owner Bill McCaig’s goal is to transport you to Italy in one bite.