Friday, June 22, 2012

Via Tribunali

Holy schnikies! I can't believe it's been over six months since my last post! I'm pretty embarrassed by my lack of updates, but I've been busy jet-setting all over the place. Rest assured, I've got some delicious content for ya! By the way, did I mention I went to a little place called


Boy, did I ever, and have I got some stories and pies for you. Before we dig in, let me set the tone by rewinding to a crucial pre-trip excursion I made with two of my favorite pizzaphiles, Scott Wiener and Jason Feirman to the aptly named Via Tribunali in the LES, NYC.

Just days before my flight I called for an emergency joint pizza subcommittee meeting with my aforementioned comrades, both of which are seasoned Italian pizza vets, to run my tentative itinerary by them and take down any last minute pro-tips. Of course you can't discuss pizza without eating pizza, right? So we ordered some brews, a couple pies, and one interesting concoction I'll get to later-

We ordered the mandatory scientific control (a standard Margherita), a "Dante," and a house specialty, the recursively-named "Via Tribunali." As I walked the guys through my plans and compared notes, we each started noshing on a dish. J got first dibs on the Margherita which immediately struck me as average.

A bit shy on the basil and not much charring to speak of, I wasn't completely blown away with the presentation. That being said the fresh mozz was cooked well and melted just as it should, and overall flavor of the pie was well-balanced aside from needing more basil up in there.

After a few minutes we passed plates- meanwhile Scott wouldn't shut the hell up about his dish, the Tribunali. Be patient (I had to be!), we're getting there. Next I had the "Dante"- tomatoes, provolone (!?), arugula, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, and I believe that's sliced grana padano on top. While I usually feel like sauce + cherry tomatoes can be over the top and redundant, it really didn't bother me on this pizza since there wasn't a ton of sauce.

Again, well-balanced if not a bit tricky to cut into slices. The grana and prosciutto raised the pie's sodium game, but it was evened out by the peppery arugula. While the prov was an interesting substitute for mozz, I wouldn't exactly say this pizza is breaking any new ground. But what about that weird looking log thing?

 Oh this? The "Via Tribunali" was the real winner here. So what exactly is going on here? It's basically a two-sided calzone. On one side you have mozzarella and sausage, while the other features ricotta and rapini. Down the center is a little "alleyway" of arugula, cherry tomatoes and sliced grana padano. For those unaware, Via Tribunali is a tiny, narrow alley in Naples which boasts a handful of the city's best pizzerias, so this pizzeria's name and this dish are a creative nod to its brick oven brethren.

After wolfing everything in sight, downing our brewskis and chatting with the gracious staff, I had a heavily modified Italian to-do list of places to go and pizza to eat. What would I do without these guys?

Next up- Rome, Naples, and beyond!
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