Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Breaking News: Una Vera Pizza Napoletana spotted on Congress! And a tall glass of Piedirosso...

This is cause for a celebration as far as I'm concerned. Last night, in the company of my DoBianchi, Julio, and wife Lauren, I managed to warm my heart by the fire of Quattro Gatti's beautiful wood-burning oven. (Click here for his take on the evening.)

I'm here to tell you that real Napoletana pizza (La Vera Pizza Napoletana) finally found its way to Austin and I could not be happier. I've now tasted 3 of the offerings and the crust is consistently tender but chewy, the toppings appropriately light for the foundation, and the mozzarella provides coverage at intervals, just like in Naples.

This is the Quattro Stagioni, or Four Seasons--DoBianchi's pick. IWG, you're going to love it!

The texture of the crust is, I think, the most important component in creating an authentic pizza. This is also the most difficult thing to find in the market 'round here. They got it right, alright.

Mine was the Montanara--a pizza "bianca" (no salsa) with fontina, prosciutto, arugula and Parmigiano Reggiano.

The prices on the wine list are more than fair, and if you want to pair that perfect pizza with another indigenous export, try the Mastroberardino Lacyrma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso DOC**. While the debate rages on about whether or not Italians pair wines or beer with pizza, I'll steal away and stick my nose in this glass of Vesuvio. It's 100% Piedirosso (Per'e'palummo in local dialect) and thankfully vinified with no oak to mask its freshness.

*Wine Digression*

The first time I smelled this wine at a trade tasting, I was immediately yanked back to Campania via sensory recall. I smelled that trademark pepper that dances about with whimsical bursts of strawberry and raspberry, against a background of something savory that I can never quite put my finger on, but it's ALWAYS there in this varietal. In my four and a half years between Naples and Ischia, Piedirosso was always around, and never disappointed me. This is the first time that I've seen such an authentic version, this side of the Atlantic and OMG, you have to try it. I feel a blog post comin' on about the Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio DOC, but the star of this post is Quattro Gatti's pizza, so stay tuned.

Owner Gianfranco Mastrangelo has done a mitzvah (as my DoBianchi would say) by showing the huddled masses of Austin what it's about. And it's about time.

L-R: The Pizzaiolo, server, and owner Gianfranco Mastrangelo.
Quattro Gatti
908 Congress Ave
Austin, Tx 78701

**In the DOC rosso, there's also an allowance for Sciascinoso and up to 20% of Aglianico. Will post with geekish enthusiasm on this DOC (as well as the bianco) soon.

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Wedding Pics by the Nichols!

My DoBianchi and I are back from a dreamy two weeks of wedding and honeymoon...returning to find some of the amazing photography of my friend Jennifer and her husband CJ. You might remember them from our engagement shoot, they are an immensely talented husband and wife photography team.

Jenn is an old friend, so she would have been invited anyway, but we are so proud and pleased to have had our most precious memories recorded by the likes of these two.

We will have more details, photos, honeymoon stories, etc coming up, but while we're catching up and trying to recalibrate our internal clocks, please enjoy not only our shoot but also the rest of the work displayed on their blog.

Just a sneaky peak...but you can click here to see more...

Thanks again Jenn and Ceej! WOW :)