My first encounter with the strange dish “pizza” was through my aunt. What she made was, unfortunately, nowhere close to what we can consider to be a pizza, but it prodded at my curiosity enough to make me read The Pizza Book by Evelyne Slomon, which taught me about the different forms of pizza, the basics of making the dough, and how to assemble one. That said, I didn’t make one until I turned seventeen and got hold of a good batch of yeast, and then, baking breads became a part of my life for the better part of the next decade.
But I digress. One of the things that the book taught me was the fact that a good pizza should begin with a great base. Everything else was secondary. Pizzas essentially focus on the crust – which IS the only factor that pizzas cannot go without – the tomato sauce can be replaced or removed, the cheese is also optional – yes, you might find (gasp!) a no cheese pizza. Again, toppings are optional as well – they can be easily replaced or removed. Therefore, in my search for a good pizza, the first and most important aspect of analysis would have to be the crust.
Fabbrica Della Pizza is by the same people who brought Alla Bella Mozzarella into the city, a pizzeria with a comprehensive menu that caters to pizza lovers, and there’s coffee on offer. Currently, they are running a promotion, offering a small but tempting array of pastas with porcini and truffle, as well as wine by the glass and bottled beer. The list is, once again, short but comprehensive, and the sangria was quaffed down by D with a remarkable ease. I picked a simple iced latte on my first visit, mildly bitter and not too sweet, and in subsequent visits, went with hot lattes (as the weather is turning cold nowadays).
I like the warm tones used in the decor here – quite cozy, and the window seats have become my favorite place to curl up with a book and a coffee, or just watch people pass by. They play music here – upbeat and mostly instrumental, which adds to the rustic trattoria-esque feel of the place. Ordering is simple – a paper menu is placed in front of you with a pencil, and you would have to tick off what you want to eat, or mention the number of things you want by writing it down. Any modifications you want to do to the pizza can be also mentioned there. They also have a Build-Your-Own-Pizza segment where you can pile on what you like from their considerable list.
To be fair, I have not had anything else but the pizzas here, but I can say this out loud – hands down, their crust is worth its weight in gold. As the establishment notes, these are Neapolitan style pizza and you would have to sort of fold the slices of pizza before eating (they have a handy dandy instruction leaflet on the table to indicate how its done, and if you aren’t too sure then follow the instructions given here). Their motto is “In Pizza we Crust” and I can’t be happier to note that this is spot on – the blistered, smokey crust, neither too thin nor too thick, soaks in whatever sauce is spread on it, adding another dimension to an already winning dish.
The Pollo Caldo begins with tomato sauce, followed by a handful of spicy chicken, olives and crunchy onions. Its a rather decadent pizza, with stretchy mozzarella cheese stealing the show, every slice a delight for the eyes and the senses. The Pepperoni is simply done with a good deal of pork pepperoni on a bed of cheese, and here I could see the use of Parmesan, that adds an extra salty kick to the already intensely salty and porky pepperoni, a feat which I like but don’t find much to write home about.
But the star of this particular show is their Fab Fungo pizza, which is what I have gone back to them a few times. Instead of tomato sauce, a layer of Porcini pâté is spread over the crust which gives the already excellent base a rich layer of umami, highlighted by meaty shiitake and simple button mushrooms and a good handful of creamy, earthy Fontina cheese, but what takes this pizza up a few notches is the drizzle of truffle oil at the very end, that results in an undeniably decadent aroma wafting from it, luring a mushroom-loving soul relentlessly to take another bite.
Desserts are few, and the only one I have tried is an affogato, a strong shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream – but I have heard good things about the Nutella Pizza they bake. Over the years, in Kolkata, I have had some really good versions of pizza, including a rather unforgettable Parmesan, artichoke, and Parma ham topped version at Hyatt. That said, I have to admit that so far, Pizza Della Fabbrica hasn’t disappointed me so far, which is definitely a boon for me.