Posted by Sherman Chan on Sunday, April 10, 2016
Having been stuck in the awful rush hour traffic in North Van trying to cross the Ironworker's Memorial Bridge twice in the last month made us wish we were in Richmond traffic instead. No joke! So with another long commute back home looming, Viv said to heck with it. Rather than sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic, she wanted to grab dinner first. But where? Well, what about Neapolitan-style pizza at Il Castello just off of Lonsdale?
Normally, I don't really comment about complimentary bread and such unless there is something extraordinary or different. So when we were presented with some Popcorn tossed in oil and what tasted like garlic salt, it was truly a welcomed surprise. A nice little treat before we got to our actual appie. Since we were sharing 2 pizzas already, we decided on the Arugula Salad to start. This was dressed in a lemon-shallot vinaigrette accompanied by roasted cherry tomatoes and parsnip chips. Normally, I'm as excited about a salad as a visit to the passport office. However, this was very good with an impactful dressing that was a nice balance of acidity, creaminess and aromatics. The blistered tomatoes added a juicy tartness while the chips provided the crunch.
For our pizzas, I tried the Funghi first and it was immediately clear that their crust had it going on. It was mildly seasoned while charred on point with consistent leoparding. Hence, it was crispy throughout and appealingly chewy while smoky with an appetizing nutiness. On top, the creaminess of the celeriac puree and fontina was amped by a restrained amount of truffle oil. The woodiness continued with the creminis and shimeji mushrooms while the addition of arugula lightened things up a tad. As much as I liked this pizza, the Piccante was even better with a spicy zestiness. The liberal amount of tart tomato sauce was elevated by Chilean chili oil and the spicy salami. Quick hits of salty zing was provided by the evenly distributed olives. Rounding out the flavours were fresh basil and mozzarella. Now if you think that we liked our pizzas, you guessed wrong... because we loved the pizzas! The crust truly rocks while the flavours are impactful. If you love Neapolitan-style pizza, a visit to Il Castello is a must.
- Consistent and well-charred crust
- Impactful flavours
- Solid service
- Parking in the area sucks, go pay for pay lot