1147 Kensington Crescent NW
Oh Pulcinella... with your sparkly white decor, oversized black and white photos and your authentic neapolitan pizza, how I <3 thee. Made with love, you provide delicious food to fill my stomach. After scoring a wicked parking spot directly in front of the restaurant (No it wasn't a handicapped stall...), we were quickly seated in the main dinning area when we entered. It was a quiet morning. Only 3 or 4 tables being occupied. Trying to beat the rush, we quickly ordered some food.
Two appetizers to start. The first to arrive was the calamari. We had the calamari the last time we dined here and it was amazing so we ordered it again. Unlike other places, the batter is not very crispy. In fact, I would describe it as soggy. But it tastes so super amazing. The unique blend of herbs and spices is a little spicy. A little tangy. And all delicious. Mmmm... I can eat this all day.
Next to arrive was the arancini. It is a ball of rice stuffed with mozzarella cheese. It is then topped with a tomato paste, more cheese (parmesan I think) and a crispy basil leave. I think the leaves were drenched in an oil, probably of the olive variety and then roasted. Or something. It was pretty neat. Crispy. Tasty. Definitely the highlight of this dish. The arancini balls were pretty good too. Very flavourful. Extremely filling. The tomato paste was very sweet. I still like the calamari better. They should just make a dish called roasted basil leaves. Win.
Pulcinella waited until we finished all of our appetizers before making our pizza. Which was really unfortunate. Because we were saving the last arancini ball for later. The waiter finally came over and asked us if we were ready for our pizza. We said yes and off they went. We finished off the last arancini ball (there was 3) as we waited for the pizza to be hand kneaded and fired in the stone oven with an oak-wood fire. I have been to Pulcinella several times, and despite my love for them, the quality of the pizza is wildly inconsistent. Or consistently inconsistent. Sometimes the dough is too soggy. Or too burnt. Could be contributed by the difference between 60 seconds in a dying flame or 90 seconds in a raging fire. The results for our cotto e fungi today? Thoroughly cooked with minor burns. Crispy along the crust, softer towards the centre. Topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and proscuitto cotto (Read: Common ham), it was great. There's some major flame on the 'spoon about Pulcinella using regular ham on the pizzas when it says "proscuitto". Prosciutto = Ham. Prosciutto crudo is the cured variety while proscuitto cotto is the cooked variety. Check which one you order because they use both. Capeesh?
Aside from the minor cancer inducing crust, the pizza was pretty good. Probably one of the better ones I've had in a while. 8 stars out of 10. I think the quality is better when they aren't too busy. Made with more love. At least two cups' worth.