Author Topic: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!  (Read 1449 times)

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Offline Serpentelli

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Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« on: May 25, 2013, 10:31:20 PM »
So it was Antico (great!!!) on Friday night and An unexpected stop at Varasano's today on the way to ATL to drop my sister off. We had three GREAT pies and Jeff has kindly agreed to meet my son and I there for brunch tomorrow. I only took a few pics today. Hopefully more tomorrow!

John K


Offline Mmmph

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 02:49:58 PM »
Review??

C'mon...I'm droolin' here.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline pythonic

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 03:33:43 PM »
My sister just moved down to Atlanta.  No report yet.

Nate
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Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 03:36:28 PM »
Wow pies 1 and 2 sure look different. Hopefully they were good and you have a good time tomorrow. Everything I've heard about Jeff Varasano seems to be good.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 06:03:38 PM »
Wow pies 1 and 2 sure look different. Hopefully they were good and you have a good time tomorrow. Everything I've heard about Jeff Varasano seems to be good.
Usually white pies will come out "lighter" in color than sauced pies even if the two were baked at the exact time, temp and duration; if that's what you were referring to.

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 09:45:43 AM »
So my son and I met Jeff as planned, at 12:30 yesterday. He was immediately recognizeable from his Internet site and came around the corner with a warm, welcoming smile. I told him that we had "sneaked in" a day earlier with my sisters and mom, and he seemed truly discouraged that he hadn't been there to meet them as well.

He immediately set to work on making us the first of two delicious quatro Stagioni pizzas (the style, not the flour) so as to let us try a good representation of his craft.  Needless to say, all were excellent. The crust is tender, not overly salted, and with a slight tang in the cornicione. Jeff's meats are unlike any other I have ever tasted. The capaccola, pepperoni (about 2 inches across, sliced paper thin), and sopressata were fantastic, and there was another meat I was unfamiliar with, that had an herbal flavor straight out of the hills of Nothern Italy.

Jeff spent two hours talking with me and my son about his restaurant, his poolish, his fermentation methods and his future plans.  The conversation was wide-ranging in scope, and Jeff made us feel very welcome. The Varasano's at ATL is slated to open in July. Thank God ATL is a hub for Delta, one of the only 2 airlines flying out of  Wilmington, NC!

We had a great chat with Willie Medina, Jeff's kitchen manager while Jeff was busy with other things. Willie is a very talented banconista and pizzaiolo!

As a result of my visit with Jeff, I am re-energized in terms of my devotion to sourdough pizza. I may try a different starter. Currently using the camaldoli. I may also try a slightly higher % of "poolish" in my dough. And I've definitely got to get my fermentation fridge temps stabilized. Even though the sourdough methods is more time-intensive I believe the efforts result in a crust and pie that is just a little bit more unique. And honestly, being the pig I am, I am 110% convinced that I can eat more sourdough pizza than Commercial yeast pizza without feeling full!

<a href="http://youtu.be/0-5WHFlXGnQ" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/0-5WHFlXGnQ</a>


<a href="http://youtu.be/KoZTpHw28iI" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/KoZTpHw28iI</a>


Please refer to the videos for images of the finished pies!

John K
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 09:48:28 AM by Serpentelli »

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 11:53:47 AM »
Sounds great! Jeff Varasano was a big influence on me.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline JD

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 12:41:25 PM »
Too
Sounds great! Jeff Varasano was a big influence on me.

Me too... but what would members consider his style to be?
Josh

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 11:32:53 PM »
Too
Me too... but what would members consider his style to be?

Ya I also started with his site. Would it be considered elite NY/nearlypolitan?

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 12:41:04 AM »
Ya I also started with his site. Would it be considered elite NY/nearlypolitan?

The term I have heard is "NY Elite"

I would describe it as having ( in every good way imaginable) all of he positive attributes of a Neapolitan pizza while at the same time being larger than a VPN pizza, and not cooked in a WFO, and also taking a bit longer to cook than a VPN. Eyes closed I cold not tell the difference in styles. But I am a novice! 

I mean no disrespect at all to the NY Elite style in comparing it to what I do know about my favorite (NP) style of pizza.  :)

John K

John K


Offline norma427

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 06:24:38 AM »
John,

Thanks for the nice write-up and photos.  The pizzas look very good.

Norma
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Offline derricktung

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 06:55:12 AM »
Great review!  Opening up in Atlanta in July, eh?  Sounds like I may have to take a trip there since I may be there on business in August as is...
Check out our new venture - Za Pi - www.za314.com

Offline JD

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 08:16:41 AM »
Ya I also started with his site. Would it be considered elite NY/nearlypolitan?

This is how I would have described it as well.


The term I have heard is "NY Elite"

Is a starter/poolish used with Elite pizza?
Josh

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 10:29:08 AM »
Is a starter/poolish used with Elite pizza?

Honestly, IDK. Hopefully others can chime in.

John K

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 02:06:27 PM »
Is a starter/poolish used with Elite pizza?

If you want.  As far as I know there isn't a defined set of characteristics or rules when it comes to this style.   Personally I call it a NP/NY hybrid with some in this category leaning closer to NP and some leaning closer to NY.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 02:56:23 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline scott123

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2013, 02:37:22 PM »
I'm with Chau. This is Neo-NY and definitely not NY elite.  NY elite (what I call coal) has no historical connection with sourdough. Jeff, on his recipe page, went through great trouble to acquire Patsy's starter, only to later find out that Patsy's doesn't use a starter.

Not that that really matters, though, as sourdough definitely has a history with NP pizza. So, this, being a NP/NY hybrid, is within that paradigm. Because of the sourdough aspect and quick bake time, though, I would say that this pie has very little ties to NY.

Nearlypolitan has a history of being used on this forum to describe flawless Neapolitan pizza done in a home oven, so I wouldn't use it in this context.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2013, 03:53:23 PM »
Thanks for the video's John...everything looks great!
I think it is so cool that your boy seems really interested in things pizza.  8)

Bob
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 05:52:33 PM »
Cool Yeah Thanks and looks good . I had the pleasure of Finally Meeting Jeff as well at the Pizza expo VPN private Party this year. Very Nice Guy ! and verypasionate abou the whole pizza thing. He was also an influence on me with his dissertation and oven Hack I read it Page by Page  probab;y several Times ! Once and a while he will evn like a pie pic I post on my Facebook page which always gives me a good feeling  Thanks and best of luck in ATL  !
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Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2013, 05:55:00 PM »
Cool Yeah Thanks and looks good . I had the pleasure of Finally Meeting Jeff as well at the Pizza expo VPN private Party this year. Very Nice Guy ! and verypasionate abou the whole pizza thing. He was also an influence on me with his dissertation and oven Hack I read it Page by Page  probab;y several Times ! Once and a while he will evn like a pie pic I post on my Facebook page which always gives me a good feeling  Thanks and best of luck in ATL  !

John,

Jeff has nothing on you in terms of pizza passion!!!

John K

I'm with Chau. This is Neo-NY and definitely not NY elite.  NY elite (what I call coal) has no historical connection with sourdough. Jeff, on his recipe page, went through great trouble to acquire Patsy's starter, only to later find out that Patsy's doesn't use a starter.

Not that that really matters, though, as sourdough definitely has a history with NP pizza. So, this, being a NP/NY hybrid, is within that paradigm. Because of the sourdough aspect and quick bake time, though, I would say that this pie has very little ties to NY.

Nearlypolitan has a history of being used on this forum to describe flawless Neapolitan pizza done in a home oven, so I wouldn't use it in this context.

Scott and Chau,

Thanks for the clarification. That helps.

John K

Thanks for the video's John...everything looks great!
I think it is so cool that your boy seems really interested in things pizza.  8)

Bob

Bob,

His interest is genuine and he has a "no holds barred" style of critique-ing the pies he's had. I count myself lucky to be enshrined amongst his "Top Ten" pizzerias, however I am NOT in his top 5!!!! >:(

Story of my life!

There is no doubt our shared pizza obsession will serve as a glue to keep us together as he goes through the puberty/upper teen years. He is a good pal to have on my pizza quests, but he is definitely still 13! He and I are both looking forward to our whirlwind NY/Brooklyn pizza tour this summer while his sister is attending a camp on Broadway. I've whittled the list down to about 25 pizza places!

John K

« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 05:57:59 PM by Serpentelli »

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Two trips to Varasano's in 18 hours!
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2013, 07:33:40 PM »


 Eyes closed I cold not tell the difference in styles.

I mean no disrespect at all to the NY Elite style in comparing it to what I do know about my favorite (NP) style of pizza.  :)


John K

To me it looks like the Varasano pizza might have a little crunch to it. If it does that seems like it would be an easy eyes closed give away.

Also I think Biancos could maybe be similar even though Biancos is wood. But Biancos is definitely not VPN yet it is not NY either which makes me think it could be in that unique category.