Sherman's Food Adventures: Via Tevere

Via Tevere

Where? A Neapolitan pizza joint on Victoria in a predominantly residential area??? That's what I thought when my sister-in-law mentioned it to me in passing. This was actually over a month ago when Via Tevere had not even opened for business. For some crazy reason, I thought it would be a great idea to go visit the place on its opening night right after Friday night hockey. Fail. We waited in line for about 20 minutes before deciding to ditch the plan. However, we all agreed that we'd try again some other night at a later date. So after Friday night hockey a month later, I suggested we give it another shot. Low and behold, Emilicious had already been to the place twice in the past week! *Gasp* She food cheated on us! Twice! Fine, we quickly forgave her since one could only hold out so long right? Well, it turned out for the better since her positive experiences convinced people to stay and wait for a table this time around.

We finally got a table after waiting for about 45 minutes. Lucky that we made the cut since they were just about to run out of dough. Since we had a big group of 9, only half of us were seated first. Emilicious, Gordo, Ginseng and myself went ahead and ordered things to share, in total disregard for the others (who were still outside waiting for a table). Hey, it's a dog-eat-dog world! Or in this case, it was only pizza, no dogs were involved. Rather than ordering 4 pizzas, we went for variety starting with the Frittura Neapoletana for 2. This appetizer platter consisted of fried pasta, potato, risotto balls and meatballs. For myself, I liked the fried pasta squares. It reminded us of fried mac 'n cheese. The noodles were sufficiently chewy while flavoured by the minimal amount of sauce. The risotto balls were crispy on the outside while the rice still had a very slight chew. They were crispy and cheesy on the inside. I wasn't a huge fan of the meat balls though. They were not really all that flavourful and the texture of the meat was quite soft.

Onto their specialty, we went with the classic Margherita which arrived with beautiful leoparding on the crust. The middle of the pizza was tender, yet not mushy while the edges were crisp, chewy and nutty from the burnt portions. The pizza dough was well-seasoned almost bordering on salty, yet not that overbearing. We really loved the San Marzano tomato sauce as it was balanced and flavourful. For our second pizza, we went with the most expensive being the Capricciosa consisting of prosciutto cotto, salame, artichokes, mushrooms and olives. Naturally, this was a collection of flavours which included the salty-tartness of the olives, Earthiness of the mushrooms and saltiness from the meats. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of so many toppings on a thin-crust pizza, but I did like this one.

In addition to the pizzas, we had the Pasta del Giorno which was the Penne Arrabiatta. With al dente pasta and just enough sauce to coat, this was a surprisingly good attempt (despite not being a pasta joint). There was a decent amount of spice to kick things up a notch while still maintaining a fresh tomatoness about it. Lastly for dessert, they ran out of their donuts, so we settled on the Risotto Pudding and Tiramisu. Although I'm not a huge fan of rice pudding per se, I didn't mind the Risotto Pudding. It was semi-sweet with real vanilla bean and orange zest (which also added some floral qualities as well). The rice was still chewy and overall, it was surprisingly "light". When we took a look-see at the Tiramisu, it appeared promising. Unlike many of the "cookie-cutter" pre-made frozen variety, this tiramisu was fresh and well-made. With lady-fingers soaked with a just-sweet-enough espresso hit and a balanced amount of marscapone cream, this was a much better than average tiramisu. At the end, we all agreed that Via Tevere was well worth the wait not only for the pizza, but for the great service and vibe as well.

The Good:
- Wood-burning oven, the right ingredients = good Neapolitan pizza
- Attentive service
- The place has a nice vibe

The Bad:
- The place is not very big, hence you most likely have to wait
- Parking in the area is not that great

Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana on Urbanspoon


LotusRapper said...

Via Tevere is run by the Marro family who's behind Pizza Ragazzi on E. 22nd, an institution for many years now. They should have no problemo to make VT a total success !

Sherman Chan said...

@LR Seeing how Famoso is their only competition nearby, they'll do real well.

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