Recently, I was lunching at Eataly with a group of colleagues. Actually, I just wanted to use “lunching” and “colleagues” in the same sentence.
I was hungrily devouring a pizza with the other members of a food photography class that I was taking. We had come to Eataly to do some on-site food photography. Come for the pictures, stay for the food – that kind of thing.
Readers of this blog know of the obsession John and I have for pizza, so I used this opportunity to sample Eataly’s version.
Eataly’s pizza menu offered the Neopolitan-style, wood fired, personal sized pizza characterized by a thin crust with a floppy center and a charred yet moist and chewy outer crust (or cornicione).
A member of our group suggested sharing a pizza. But I needed to research! For the blog! For our readers! For science! Also, I was hungry. So I politely responded, “I’ll be taking one down all by myself. But thanks for the offer!”
Besides, when I share food, I’m always mentally tallying the number of pieces that I have in relation to everyone else in an effort to be polite. It’s too much mental energy when I’m trying to eat. Plus, it usually leaves me hungry.
I selected the Verduretta, a traditional Margherita (tomato sauce and mozzarella) topped with roasted eggplant and red peppers.
The portion size was generous. I did not, in fact, end up taking the whole thing down by myself. Leopard-like black char spots graced the outer crust which sloped downwards to a very thin and flexible inner pizza. The tomato sauce was tangy and the strips of roasted eggplant provided a smokey and woodsy quality that had me wishing these veggies had been more generously applied.
While the eggplant scored high marks, the roasted peppers seemed just decorative accents as they were a more generic, from-the-can variety and didn’t add much flavor.
As for the mozzarella – the marshmallow-like dollops were an excellent consistency: they retained a good meltiness even upon cooling, and were never plastic-y or dry.
John would call this a “solid” pie, and I would agree. Technically and traditionally sound in crust and cooking method, yet lacking a bit in depth of flavor from its veggie accoutrements.
Overall Pizza-Eating Experience: Top Gun, The Well Working Formula
Bonus Section! I’ve you’ve read this far, you can see a few photo highlights from the Eataly tour: