Gabriele Bonci, one of Italy’s greatest pizza makers, and Katie Parla one of Italy’s greatest food publicists/experts/educators/sommeliers/Uyghur food lover, were doing their thing at Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint. Bonci was dishing out some fantastic looking and tasting pizzas, Parla was serving Italian craft beer, and Paulie was busy giving away wifi passwords. Actually it was fun chatting with Paulie again. You will never meet a more down to earth guy.
A few months ago we went to Rome, and one of my “musts” was a visit to Pizzarium, Bonci’s place behind the Vatican. But the closer I got to the date the more I knew that its just not gonna be possible due to the proximity of Pizzarium to the Vatican exit. All I had to do was envision that look. The look I would get from Mrs Z after a pilgrimage to a place with no seating at a moment where seating is absolutely crucial (Vatican museum + 2 hour Vatican garden tour + St Peters = Seating). However, thanks to Katie Parla and her foodie colleagues, Il Sorpasso turned out to be a valid alternative. So, I couldn’t go to Pizzarium, but Pizzarium came to me, to Brooklyn
The Pizzas were as good as advertised. Slice after slice coming in bursting with flavor from the various combinations, showcasing Bonci’s creativity. From the Speck with Pumpkin to Funghi/Potato/Taleggio to Swiss Chard with Guanciale. Bonci, who had to make some adjustments working with Paulie’s oven then finished by pulling out something that resembled (with the help of Katie’s beer) 3 chickens lying in the missionary position. But after a closer look, it seemed more like the opposite position. Another closer look revealed it was just pizza dough. And the surprise inside was a pork loin – DELICIOSO!
Parla’s craft beer selection was spot on. We couldn’t get enough of the citrusy Seson with Chinotto, at least until the next one arrived. Fantastic aromas, and deep lasting flavors all around. It was great to finally meet Katie, and mama Parla who practically painted our entire Italy itinerary for the next trip.
The thought crossed my mind while driving in. Perhaps Bonci’s old friend Anthony Bourdain will be there. But instead I got to meet Nick Anderer of Maialino. It was perfect timing as well after I posted on Chowhound my sound approval of the new white truffle prices at Maialino, lowest in the city turns out, until the NoMad started offering them at cost (lunch there tomorrow). I wish I could have spent more time chatting with Anderer, but I couldn’t leave Mrs Ziggy alone for too long. With her “Fish Called Wanda” syndrome and all the Italian men roaming around, potentially a deadly combination.