Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Pizza His Way
I have been hearing a lot of noise surrounding the "authentic" Italian pies from Varasano's. A lot coming from the mouth, or rather keyboard of owner/restaurateur Jeff Varasano. So Friday night we went to check it out.
For a place trying so hard to be an authentic Italian pizzeria and uphold certain rules of how an Italian pizza should be made and even eaten (more on that later) Varasano's sure has an ass backwards atmosphere. It's like an authentic Italian pizzeria in a wannabe snooty midtown restaurant. Weak sauce.
I noticed two things upon arriving at Varasano's. One was Jeff Varasano sitting at the bar eating one of his own pies. This is a good sign right?? Or maybe this guy is so into himself that's all he'll eat. Another was that the place was virtually empty on a Friday night. Why would a place with all this hype be dead on a Friday night? I was about to find out.
When the waiter finally comes to your table he does one of those "Have ya'll been here before" and if the answer is no you get this ten minute speech telling you what pizza is. Sometimes these can be very comical, most of the time annoying.
At the top of the menu there is a hefty paragraph telling you about Jeff Varasano, his pizza and even recommendations of how to eat his pizza. Forks and knifes are frowned upon. Very interesting, not.
A real tasty caprese salad and it was time to pick our pies. We settled on a classic margherita with bufala motz and sausage with fennel and a white pie with ricotta and arugula. Not all pies come with bufala, in fact they have a margherita and a margherita di bufala. Now why would you do that?
I thought the pizza dough was a close 9 on the tasty scale. Real solid. As for the rest of the pies...I really wasn't too impressed with the white pie, I never really am. I need sauce! The margherita with sausage was ok. You can't go wrong with bufala. Really, I love the stuff. The basil was fresh and the sausage good. The sauce was bland and reminded me of a tomato puree. I've had better out of a can.
Varasano's has some work to do, but I doubt they ever will considering they already have the recipe for the "perfect pie".