It has been a fast & furious year for Neapolitan-style pizza in Vancouver in 2012. In addition to Novo, BiBo, Nicli Antica and Verace we saw the appearance of Farina, Famoso, Via Tevere and Barbarella. I've tried them all and there are definitely ones that stand out. One of them is Pizzeria Barbarella, operated by Terry Deane, who originally ran Ah-Beetz out in Abbotsford. I had the good fortune of trying the place out before he sold it, so he could open up shop in Vancouver. I was looking forward to its opening because I knew it would be good. In a way, Terry helped introduce thin-crust high-heat cooked pizza to the Lower Mainland, albeit out in Abbotsford. I was so excited that I went on opening night of Pizzeria Barbarella. Nearly one year later, I thought it would be a good idea to see how they were doing. In fact, we were a table of 12, half of them kiddies, since we had just done the Stanley Park Christmas Train. A hungry and boisterous bunch!
With such a large group, we got 8 pizzas to share including one of the Amatriciana consisting of tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, house cured and smoked pancetta, red onions, fresh garlic, chili flakes, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. Unlike last time, there were noticeable pieces of pancetta on top which added plenty of savouriness to the pizza. There was some spice from the chili flakes and plenty of cheesiness as well. The plethora of toppings did make the crust a bit softer than the rest of the pizzas. With that being said, there was a good amount of leoparding which ensured a smoky-nuttiness. I thought the dough was adequately seasoned as well. Hands-down, our favourite pizza was the Funghi (much like last time) with besciamella, fontina, oven roasted cremini mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano and white truffle oil. Being less salty than last time, this was a tasty pizza. Lots of Earthiness going around from the mushrooms and the drizzle of truffle oil. With less moisture, the crust was significantly more crispy. I liked how it was chewy enough, without being difficult to eat.
Our second favourite pizza was the Salsiccia consisting of tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, house made fennel sausage, pickled peppers, basil, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. We thought the fennel sausage and the peppers defined the flavour profile of the pizza. The pickled peppers added a zing which really added to the mild-tasting tomato sauce. The next pizza was the Diavola with tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, spicy salami, nicoise olives and extra virgin olive oil. It may of looked like a pepperoni pizza, but it certainly was not. The spicy salami lived up to its namesake while the olives added another burst of flavour. Last but not least, the classic Margherita arrived. With plenty of fresh basil (added after the fact) and a beautifully baked crust, this was a solid pizza. Considering that most of the ingredients are made in-house and the care that is put into each pizza, I would not hesitate to put Barbarella in the top-3 of thin crust pizzas in town.
- Care put into every pizza
- Lots of the ingredients are house-made
- Spacious dining room
- Although spacious, the dining room is a bit stark
- Service was friendly, but had to ask for items more than a few times
- A little pricey, but worth it IMO