Had dinner at Fiorella this evening and I’d like to go back and try more. When having pizza with friends and trying to decide what pie to share, I’ll let everyone know that I’ll eat anything to make the process of figuring out what to share ‘easier’. Usually, it is easier b/c there aren’t necessarily other interesting items on the menu that catch my eye, but from this menu, I wanted to try the chicken liver antipasti or the beef hearts or the pan fried caciocavallo. Cacio-what? All my suggestions were shot down. At least, with the pizza, my friends allowed me to order the clam pizza to share as well as the New Haven. And we got an order of suppli al telefono, one of my favorite things to eat…ever, and a young arugula salad with pecorino and hazelnuts.
The salad was run of the mill and I found the suppli a disappointment. I’ve made suppli once and it was such a time consuming task that I’ve never tried to make it again. I’ll order it whenever I see it b/c I love it and know how much work goes into it. When you bite into suppli, there is hopefully cheese inside that is melted enough that as you pull the remaining bite away from your mouth, the cheese stretches out into thin strands, like telephone wires. I like my suppli this way but our suppli was the size of a large kumquat and did not have any of that delightful stringy cheese action. I think it may have been the kind of mozzarella used.
The pizza was great however. Unabashedly, I could eat a whole clam pie by myself as they look to be about 10" with 4 slices. The clams were briny and chopped just right for a toothsome but not necessarily rubbery texture. I loved the fresh lemon provided so we could squeeze lemon juice on. The crust stood up well under the load of clams and was suitably chewy. Between the clams, the garlic, oregano, lemon, pecorino, and a nice stable crust, I felt like this is a delicious, well balanced pizza.
The New Haven is a good pizza to have in order to set a benchmark…it has parmesan, pecorino, tomato, olive oil, and basil on it. Simple. This pizza had a slight char to it and a nice chewiness. It wasn’t the most exciting pizza on the menu that I wanted to try but a solid, reliable pizza. I’d eat that clam pie again in a heartbeat but I’d also like to go back to try their spicy salami pie. They had another one tonight that had broccoli di rabe, garlic, chilies, and an egg on it but the friends didn’t want to go with greens on the pizza.
There were some aesthetic touches that we really liked - from the gorgeous oven to the quirky hand-drawn “best of the bay” wallpaper to the gold doodling in the restroom, lots of attention to detail was evident. Care is definitely taken here and a lot of interesting things are offered from the kitchen that one doesn’t tend to find in your neighborhood pizzeria. Glad that Fiorella is offering them and I’m eager to return.