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.
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.
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.
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.