Author Topic: Returned from Italy - Field Report  (Read 4252 times)

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Offline R2-Bayou

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Returned from Italy - Field Report
« on: May 29, 2012, 05:52:27 PM »
I was fortunate enough to take three weeks off of work and travel around Italy with my girl. We started off in Rome, then through Tuscany/Chianti, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Parma, Bologna, Venice, the Adriatic Coast and Pescara, Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Agerola, Sorrento, Naples/Portici/Pompeii, then back through Rome. I've never been before, so we rented a car and just went for the grand tour.

Being a pizza nerd I was very driven to experience all facets of the Italian staple, lost of the focaccia and pan styles, but the neapolitan is what I sought out most. We had all sorts of interesting regional dishes, but I'll focus on pizza here and post the others in the off-topic sections.

To get a baseline of neapolitan pizza, we started out at a Rossopomodoro in Rome. Yes, this is a chain, but this is the typical entry to neapolitan style pizza for many around the world. The first two pictures are Rossopomodoro, a margherita and an artichoke pie. Both really good, tender dough with a crisp bottom. Lightly charred. Great tomato flavor.

Thrid pic is the typical focaccia style pizza biancos and pesto pie of the Liguire. Here, in Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre, shows a counter service pizzeria. It was awesome. It makes pan style pizza taste light and delicious. The pesto was like non-other.

Pics 4,5,6,7 are in Bologna at Michelemma' Di Salvatore Soria. This was a seafood/pizza place. High quality seafood all on display, great looking deserts, but the pizza was fantastic. The seafood/pizza place concept was something we saw throughout Italy, all delivered in a fine dining atmosphere. The restaraunt owners all love to get their pictures taken, and they let me right behind the prep station to take photos. We had a margherita and a broc rab and sausage. Fantastic.

More after the jump..
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."


Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 06:26:11 PM »
Also in Bologna, La Bella Napoli. We had a Napoli pie (anchovy, capers, and olives) and a clam pie (vongole). Pretty good but Michelemma' was better.. Pics 1 and 2

In Venice, we had excellent pizzas at Da Mamo. The Ariete (pic 3) had tomato, mozz, salumi, ham, and artichokes; they sliced the links lengthwise which was interesting and served with a fantastic chili oil. We also had the Vergine with tomato, basil, cherry tomatos, and bufalo mozz.

Pic 4 is a neapolitan pizza vending machine we saw in Bologna.. I couldn't bring myself to try it being so inundated with amazing food.

We spent a couple days driving down the Adriatic coast, which is beautiful and underrated. The sections through Abruzzo are stunning and I would love to find a small town to chill in there for a while.  We stayed in Pescara, which was kinda like the Jersey Shore, but fun and with great food and beaches. The strand is lined with wood fired oven pizza places. We ate at Marechiaro Da Vittorio. Pic 5 is likely the best calzone I've ever had. Ricotta, mozz, tomato, proscuitto cotta..

Then it was off to the amalfi coast. Spent time in Salerno where we saw several WFO spots, where I saw a teenager working the oven like a champ. Stayed a night in Agerola just above Amalfi. Ate a couple of the best meals of the trip. It was a pizza place that used the dough to make amazing little fried rolls for mini panini and also baked bread using the pizza dough for use in bruschetta.

Pic 6, 7, and 8 are from  La Pizza Del Poeta. This place had a 20 something pizziaolo making 1/2 kilo pies in a massive wfo. The peel he used was just a plank of plywood. Sliding 2 into the oven at a time. He could probably fit in 6 of those oval shaped 1/2 kg pies in there. You'll also notice the pie with french fries. The fries was a very popular topping everywhere we went. Very surprising. Awesome spot. Take out and delivery only.

more after the jump.

"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 06:38:27 PM »
We were able to hit Napoli, and we were not disappointed. Napoli is a BIG, gritty city.. We stayed in Portici so we could just hop on the train to visit. da Michele was fantastic. Inexpensive, they turned customers over quickly without rushing them, and had friendly staff. The charring on the upskirt was intense, the most I had seen in Italy. Made me feel good about how charred my pies get in my LBE (and that I'm a char freak). The oven was so hot the olive oil would burst into flames. Pics 1-4 are da Michele. We had two margheritas and a beer...

From our ostello, Fabric, in Portici, we were able to walk to Pizzeria Salvo. This may have been better than da Michele, but it was close. Pics 5-8 are of Salvo. We had a margherita and a broc rab and sausage.. The arancini were also a deelish antipasti, crisp exterior, soft and creamy interior..
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 06:49:34 PM »
That sounded like a lot of fun. I'm lovin' the Salvo pie. One day.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 06:51:13 PM »
R2-Bayou,

Wonderful trip report. Thank you.

Peter

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 07:18:53 PM »
Thanks R2.  The pictures are crisp and clear, post everything you've got.  Its almost like being there, thanks so much. :chef:
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Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 07:30:04 PM »
I've got a bunch more pictures to post, these were just from the abbreviated slide show i'm putting together... I took about a thousand photos; i got my slide show down to 350...

Also of note, La Pizza del Poeta was in Sorrento...

More to come..
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline JConk007

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 07:53:43 PM »
Awesome Thanks for posting! whatr a differencwe in the npoli Margherita with thte leparding... the real deal !
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline flyboy4ual

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 07:57:24 PM »
Sounds like a great trip.  Thanks for the report and photos!

Scott D.

Offline Barry

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 04:11:52 AM »
Hi R2-Bayou,

Quote
From our ostello, Fabric, in Portici, we were able to walk to Pizzeria Salvo. This may have been better than da Michele, but it was close.

I have to agree with you - Salvo was marginally better than Da Michele for me too.

I will be in Naples again in the first week of July, and will continue with my "research".

Kind regards.

Barry in Cape Town


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 08:14:31 AM »
Just for information, Ciro Salvo, the young master pizzamaker responsible since the opening in 2006 of the latest Pizzeria Salvo in San Giorgio a Cremano has left almost two years ago the pizzeria in question and it is now managed by the remaining two brothers,  that were previously just responsible of running the flloor one and the fried department the other. Ciro has been until he left the only  Master pizzamaker responsible for the pizza operation as he had been the one training under his dad in the previous pizzeria in Portici since being a young kid. The pizza has slightly changed as you would expect any artisanal product not overseen by the original master, but it is still of very high level. As you may remember I consider Ciro Salvo, Don Luigi Condurro and his master apprentice at Da Michele the best pizzamakers in the world, and as I am also a close friend with Ciro, I have not been close to the his borther new direction for more then a year. Ciro remain a shareholder in the pizzeria but he is not part of the management and he is looking for a different Location, to continue his philosophy of pizza. Since leaving the pizzeria, Ciro has also been occasionally involved as an instructor for the VPN courses in Naples.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 08:17:19 AM by pizzanapoletana »

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 01:32:58 PM »
Thanks for the information on Salvo, pizzanapoletana. One of your previous posts on the best of napoli pizzerias is what pointed me to these spots. Much appreciated.
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline thezaman

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 08:30:29 PM »
 great report! are you going to post your pics on this site or a photo site. please keep us up updated .did you try any vpn pizzerias? if so did they differ from the non vpn as far as taste?

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 11:51:02 AM »
@zaman,

Thanks! I'm sure more than a few of these places were VPN, although I didn't really keep track. I kept pretty good notes of the experiences otherwise. Regarding posting the rest of my pictures, I will likely create a web Picasa album and post the link here.

-steve
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 02:06:52 PM »
For those of you interested in checking out the rest of my pictures from the Italy trip, here's the link: https://picasaweb.google.com/113091958435268514643/Italy_Slides?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCIP72LLTjauPaQ&feat=directlink
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

parallei

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2012, 04:45:34 PM »
Hi Steve,

Thanks for posting all your photo's.  It was fun to see them all as they reminded me of past trips to Italy.  I always got really depressed when visiting the local chain grocery stores upon arriving back home in the States!

Quick question.  I'd like to give that broccoli rabe and sausage combo a try.  The one you photographed in Bologna.  You might not remember, but:

Do you remember the flavor profile of the sausage?  I'm guessing no fennel, but you never know.  Sometimes I make a sausage based on a recipe from Bologna that has pork butt, pancetta, a bit of garlic, a bit of allspice, pepper and white wine.  I'm thinking that might work.  Also, do you remember if it was was it just mozz for the cheese?

Thanks!

Your photo below:

 

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2012, 05:00:54 PM »
parallei,

the rab and sausage combo is pretty much my favorite after the margherita.. It was just with mozz (fior di latte), no tomato sauce. I didn't take detailed notes on the sausage, but it was pretty simple. I don't remember fennel or garlic, although I think it would be really, really good with it! I'm pretty sure they either sauteed or blanched the rab before firing on the pizza. These flavors really sing with chili oil condiment.

Glad you enjoyed the photos, and yes, even our nice grocery stores pale in comparison!

-steve
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2012, 03:38:50 PM »
Excellent report! Sounds like a great trip.

That Salvo margherita looks very good on this end. Hopefully I am fortunate enough to try it one day.

Thanks for the write-up and pics! --K  :)
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Offline daveswindows

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2012, 04:44:08 PM »
Just read your review awesome what a great oppurtunity. Thanks a lot for your pics.

Offline enchant

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Re: Returned from Italy - Field Report
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2012, 05:24:27 PM »
Daveswindows, thanks for bumping this thread.

That's an epic trip you took.  I just LOVE the sixth photo from the top - the oven interior.  I want that for my PC wallpaper.  The image after it kind of spoiled it for me a little, giving actual perspective for size.  Just from that interior photo, I kind of imagined that the opening was maybe 2 feet high and 4 feed wide, and we were looking at a 24" pizza pushed back about 6' into the oven.
--pat--