Nicli Antica

November 15th, 2011

Location: 62 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC  View Google Map
Website: Click Here

Nicli Antica is Vancouver’s first authentic Neopolitan pizzeria. Each region of Italy has its own culinary specialty and Naples is known far and wide for its pizza. My boyfriend, who spent a month learning how to make pizza in Naples – sweating by a wood-burning oven and pounding dough into submission by hand – assures me that this is the real thing. Each pizza is shaped manually, then popped in an extremely hot wood-fired oven for just 90 seconds creating a light and airy crust with a crisp exterior, often blackened with blisters. The centres of the pies are moist and tender. They are unlike any other pizzas I’ve tried in Vancouver so far: personally sized and delicate, they are dotted with cheese rather than smothered in it. For me, the Margherita is the standard and the best way to discern an establishment’s pizza-making skills, before the pie is masked by other savoury ingredients; I have it everywhere I go. Here, it is sprinkled with parmigiano, mozzarella and basil leaves, and it’s a classic. It’s astonishing that something so simple can taste so good. Most every other pizza is built on this solid foundation with the addition of mushrooms or various cured meats. The Napoletana topped with the oregano, garlic and anchovy ingredients I love, but missteps with the addition of cheese – fish and cheese would never cross paths in Italy. The patriotic wine list is the logical extension of the food and I was able to affirm my belief that prosecco and pizza make great friends. The best thing about this contemporary room is the white-tiled wood-burning oven itself, which makes a fantastic focal point. (EL)

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