Normally I just review restaurants on here but I am making an exception this week. I have written before about when my love for pizza started and recently I have had a hankering for pizza. Over the past few weeks this has taken me to three different places offering pizza. Two of the places I visited opened this year and the third started offering pizza on their menu last September after a revamp.
The first pizzeria
The first place I visited was Caramico, and I found it whilst on one of my daily walks. Passing by the Point Campus, I noticed a Centra which I entered. Imagine my surprise when I quickly spotted a woodfired pizza oven.
This immediately piqued my interest and I knew I had to order a pizza from there. So that’s what I did twenty minutes later after they opened.
What I ordered
Having perused their menu, the Daytime Deal stood out for me and I went with that. Any 7” Pizza, Monday to Friday for only €5.99. The pizza I chose was the Margherita. Made with San Marzano Tomato Sauce and Fior di Latte Mozzarella finished with Basil Infused Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.
It was delicious, and what added to the taste was the Basil Infused Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. It gave it that little bit extra. The cheese dripped off the pizza perfectly without been messy.
I later learnt the ingredients and toppings used are either Irish or Italian, giving you the best of Italian and Irish homegrown produce. The pizza sauce uses San Marzano tomatoes grown in volcanic soil at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. Having thicker flesh and fewer seeds, makes them taste less acidic. Coming from the town of San Marzano sul Sarno, near Naples. they are the only tomatoes allowed in an authentic Neopolitan pizza. Using the best of Irish and Italian artisan suppliers gives you top class ham and cheese.
At €5.99 you can’t go wrong, getting a pizza with just the right amount of cheese and an authentic taste. I will definitely be coming back soon.
Caramico, Centra, Point Campus Dublin 1. Opening time: 2pm. Dining options: Sit in and takeaway.
The second pizzeria
The second place I visited was the wine cellar in Fallon & Byrne. For years the Wine Cellar offered you the chance to have snacks and small plates alongside the large selection of wine they sold. This was an interesting mix. Last September it got a revamp as did the menu. Casual dining offering Italian and Mediterranean dishes including, pizza, pasta and fish dishes. Various Pasta dishes and Neapolitan pizza were added to the menu. Now you could have a proper meal matched with one of Dublin’s best and biggest wine menus, including 87 Italian wines. Corkage is €1 on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. For the rest of the week it is €10.
What I ordered
The best way to test how good a pizza is by ordering a Margherita. This pizza has very few ingredients so toppings won’t mask how it looks and tastes. You want to able to see how cheesy it is, how good the tomato based sauce is, and what is the crust like. So, that’s what I ordered.
As you can see my pizza looked as good as it tasted but with a few caveats. It took longer to cook than I expected and the crust was to thick. As I have mentioned before, I prefer a thinner crunchy crust. The dipping sauces available did not suit my fussy eaters palate.
As it is a Neapolitan pizza, you will notice how thin it is. It was also not too cheesy and the tomato sauce was not runny, which can easily result in stains on your clothes.
The pizza is a typical Neapolitan one, and at €14 it is priced for the casual dining consumer it is aimed at. Next time I come here I must try a glass of nice light red wine which goes well with pizza.
The third place I visited, Bambino, opened earlier this year in June. Bambino is a New York style pizzeria that offers pizza by the slice or 20” pie. It is based on Stephen Street Lower and is very close to the Hairy Lemon. Having heard lots of positive things about it, it was worth a visit. So a couple of Saturdays ago I popped by just to get one slice.
What I ordered
When I walked in I picked up a menu and then had a look at the pies on offer.
There is seven round pizza slices on offer and two square ones. The round cheese pizza with House Mozzarella Blend, Tomato Sauce, Pecorino, Romano and Oregano appealed to me. So that’s what I ordered.
You will notice that the pizza slice is big and that is one of the characteristics of a New York Style pizza. The other characteristics are it has a thin base and thin crust which allows you to fold it over before you eat it. Noticing the crust is thick and crisp only along its edge I was happy.
Thin crusts on pizza like the one above, make my world go round. The pizza slice tasted divine and really hit the spot. The pizza slice tasted divine and really hit the spot. It tasted different to an Italian pizza because of the tomato sauce which has been slow cooked. In an Italian pizza pureed fresh tomatoes are used and the sauce is thicker, containing more flavour than the New York version. Nothing was left behind which makes a change as I normally leave behind some crusts because they are too thick. A return visit is definitely on the cards.
Bambino, 37 Stephen Street Lower, Dublin. Opening time: 2pm. Dining options: Sit in or takeaway.
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