Pizza #251 Filetto e Provola, Da Donato
provolone, tomatoes, basil,
Via S. Cosmo a Portanolana, 26-28, Napoli
Da Danato is one of the many pizzerias located off the main traffic artery of Via Garibaldi in central Naples. It seems hard to go wrong choosing to dine at any of these pizzerias, as I have had excellent results regardless of interior, time of day, or number of clientele at the pizzeria. Da Danato did nothing to dispel me of this belief, and produced an excellent provolone pizza. The entire pizza seemed to consist of two alternating tastes of sweet and smoky. The ‘sweet’ taste supplied by the chewy inside of the crust and the over-ripe tomatoes, the ‘smoky’ taste provided by the rich provolone and the char on the underside of the pizza.
A simple pizza like the Filetto e Provola seems to violate every principle of the American dining experience, and I am not just speaking of fast food restaurants either, but pizzeria dining as well. For example, Chicago-style pizza dough thickness is designed to maximize the number and weight of toppings the pizza base can support. Setting just two to three toppings on a pizza like the kind Da Donato serves may seem wasteful, but I see no other way to really enjoy the best of what southern Italy has to offer on a pizza (Eggplant, Buffalo Mozzarella, Smoked mozzarella, Vesuvio Tomatoes) A single ingredient on an excellent crust is like enjoying a single instrument in a music solo. If the pizzaiolo wants to show-off their abilities and crust making skills, then fewer toppings-not more, are the best way to gauge quality. This observation is nothing new and probably accounts somewhat for the fame of Pizzeria Da Michele, also in downtown Naples, which serves only two types of pizza. In reality, Neapolitans are not even really sacrificing quality for quantity, as the sheer size of most Neapolitan pizzas is sufficiently filling. On a scale of one to ten I give the toppings a 6.5 and the crust a 7
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