"If you want to try Bufala... I'm game", texted Choobee. Okay, that sounded like a great idea... I love Neapolitan-style pizza! However, the next text I got was: "Didn't realize it was their first night! I went... haha...". Oh I see it goes, I'm only important until I'm not. Hey I have feelings too you know! Not to be outdone, I grabbed the softball team and we visited the place 3 days later after our game. From the same people who brought you Wildebeest, Bufala adds to the growing collection of Neapolitan pizza joints in the city.
Instead of taking rock star metered parking in front, I opted to do the Chinese-thing and drove down one block to squeeze into a free spot. I noticed Judes and Miss Y doing the same thing, but not Bear, he paid. We longer consider him Asian... Anyways, we ended up sharing everything starting with the Kale Caesar Salad consisting of green & purple kale, parmigiano reggiano, egg yolk, anchovy and crispy bacon. This was pretty good in our opinion due to the purposeful amount of lemon which brought a certain brightness to an otherwise heavy dressing. The crispy bacon added both saltiness and a great texture. Next, we tried the Meatballs with ricotta and basil. These were soft while still maintaining some meatiness. The creamy ricotta balanced out the mild tomato sauce while the basil really stood out.
We also added the Roasted Mortadella (with pickled cippolini onions, shallot crumb, mustard and parsely) at our server's suggestion. Glad we listened as each piece of mortadella was slightly crispy, appealingly chewy and purposefully salty. This was nicely balanced by the sweet and tart cippolini onions. Seemingly a simple dish, but done right. On the other hand, we were not as enthused with the Polenta Gnocchi accompanied by braised ox-tail, English peas, mint, asparagus and goat cheese. As a group, we love polenta, but it wasn't really doing it for us as a gnocchi. It had a crumbly-texture that was also a touch too soft. As much as we liked the rich oxtail, there was very little of it. Furthermore, we felt that the entire dish lacked impact.
Onto the main event, we began with the standard being the Margherita with the basics including fior di latte, basil and tomato sauce. Although I would've liked to see a bit more leoparding, the crust was on point. It was crispy from the crust all-the-way to the centre. The dough was seasoned enough to stand on its own, but of course it was better with the mild tomato sauce, stringy cheese and fresh basil. Next, we tried the Finocchiona consisting of fresh fennel sausage, castelvetrano olives, caramelized onion, smoked provolone, basil and tomato sauce. With a decent amount of sausage, this pizza had more body and hence was a bit softer at the centre as well. There was a light fennel taste to go along with the sweetness of the onions and aromatics of the basil. Strangely, I didn't really notice the olives.
With the smell of pungent truffle oil in the air, we knew the Funghi was next. It was made with shimeji and portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, watercress, pecorino tartufo and bianco sauce. Naturally, it was a considerably Earthy concoction which helped wet the centre even more. It wasn't mushy though where the dough held up to the plethora of ingredients. This was probably my favourite of the night. Lastly, we sampled the Carparccio with bresaola, grana padano, gribiche, horseradish, arugula and bianco sauce. I really liked this pizza as it had plenty of flavours at play. These flavours were layered where I got the peppery arugula first, then the gribiche and horseradish, finally finishing off with the bresaola. I had a hard time deciding which one I liked after this one. All-in-all, we enjoyed our meal at Bufala. From the service-to-the-food, it was a pleasant experience and we will probably be back.
- Attentive service
- Crispy, chewy pizza crust
- Not overly expensive given its location
- Could use a bit more leoparding