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Mozza - another take

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Mozza - another take

notmartha | | Nov 26, 2006 05:38 AM

Finally went there on Friday after Thanksgiving. We went without reservations and the line formed at 11:45AM. As all the tables were reserved, we ended up at the bar, which filled up within minutes. There are actually 2 bars, with about 20 seats. I didn't realize it, but the action was mostly at the smaller bar in front of the oven. The service was very good at the bar, even though the bartender was ultra busy with all the food and drink orders.

I got the squash blossom appetizer. The batter was light - almost tempura like but with a harder crunch. I can't say I cared much for the stuffing inside. It had ricotta and I think mozzarella (something stringy), but in achieving something more refined than the normal version with just mozzarella and anchovies, it seems to have lost its soul, when I compared it against the versions I had many times in Italy.

We also got 3 pizzas - margherita, burrata and the egg one. The crust was just about perfect for my taste - soft, chewy, crispy all at the same time. I think Jonathan Gold nailed it. It was similar to the 'Pizza Bianca' at the Forno at Campo Fiori, except the way with the Mozza the pizza crust is shaped you get the very thin delicate center (ala Roman style), with the high rising edges that are more like the Italian Pizza Bianca (except less chewy). I personally loved the burrata pizza - the cheese matches very well with the delicate taste of the zucchini blossom, and the tomato sauce was a perfect accent. My husband preferred his egg pizza - with the egg yolks still a little bit runny, and the salty taste of the sliced guanciale and the anchovy sauce was completely opposite of the squash blossom pizza - rustic, earthy, salty and packed quite a punch.

The Margherita was only for those who liked bread. I think if that's the only pizza you ordered you would really be wondering what the fuss is about. The cheese was very sparse - even by Italian standard. The taste was good, but it definitely doesn't impress.

Nice thing with these pizza is that they reheat very well. We put the leftovers in the convention oven at 450 degrees for about 3 minutes and they are still very, very good.

Lastly, we wanted to get the fig crostada for dessert, but they were out, so we ended up with the butterscotch pudding instead. I love the top layer flavor - which tasted like molten sea-salt caramel; love to see that twirled in with a good fiore de latte gelato. For the pudding itself the flavor was good, but it is a little sweet without the sea-salt caramel sauce, and a little bit more grainy textured than I would like. I hated the accompanying cookies. It doesn't seem to match well with the pudding, plus it's ultra buttery when the pudding was rich already. Kind of like attempting to gild the lily. The cookie also seems to have some cornmeal in it, which lodged in my teeth and won't budge.

This place does deliver - if it wasn't for the fact that it's a good hour drive there for me, I'll be there more often. As it is I will definitely order more pizzas that we can consume next time so that we can have great leftovers to tie us over.

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