Pizzetteria Brunetti: Margherita Più (San Marzano tomatoes, imported mozzarella di bufala, cherry tomatoes, basil, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil)
After having the Asparagus pizza, I was set on coming back to Brunetti the next day. Although I didn’t know it my first time there with the Funghi e Cipolle pizza, that crust was my favorite. Top-notch ratio of crunch-to-chew, with density and char to boot. I needed to try a traditional grouping of toppings on this base, and lucky for me, Brunetti had an even better option: the upgraded Margherita Più, ditching your average mozzarella and tomato sauce for buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce. And from my first bite, I could tell that I was eating the best pizza I had ever eaten on this side of the world, maybe ever, and that I would never have another that pales in comparison. The crust was absolutely perfect. The buffalo mozzarella was sweet, just about putting me in a state of euphoria. The basil was more plentiful than I’ve seen on a pie before. The cherry tomatoes didn’t do much for me (and I can confirm that the pie is just as good without them after having this a second time), but that San Marzano tomato sauce had a bit more pungency and freshness than the typical tomato sauce, and paired beautifully with the buffalo mozzarella. The juices from the cheese, the red sauce, and the olive oil all combined into more of a pink sauce as I was devouring the pie. Uber-flavorful. I was savoring every last bite, knowing that I would never again get the same reaction from having a pizza. And when I finished, I was absolutely sure that, if I were to make a ranking of all the pizzas I ate over the summer, Pizzetteria Brunetti’s Margherita Più was deserving of the title “La Regina” – the queen.
And that wraps up all 17 of the “Pizzcapades” I went on over Summer 2015. With that all out of the way, I want to answer some questions regarding the feature.
Did I always intend to post this feature after finding all the pizzerias?
Surprisingly, no. I put together the original list of pizza places very casually in my spare time. I’ll do that a lot with restaurants of certain cuisines or in particular areas, but never have I actually done it with the intention of going to as many as possible. When I went to Motorino in late May, I came up with the idea to write down notes on the pizzas I was having. Sure enough, by the sixth or seventh pie, this note on my phone evolved into a substantial document, and one that I became more and more comfortable with sharing. And so, here we are.
If you could only have pizza or sneakers for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Thank you David for the on-point question. I’d say sneakers, and it’s not close. There are infinite possibilities with food, and you can find the flavors on pizzas in other areas of Italian cuisine, even if they may taste better on crust. Unbelievable as it may be, I can imagine a life without pizza. On the other hand, though I don’t buy that many sneakers anymore (I’ve only bought one pair in the last ten months), I couldn’t imagine my life without going into my closet and pulling out fresh kicks on the daily. It’s the only way to be.
Why not try the Margherita at each of these pizzerias? Aren’t you getting an unbalanced perspective?
Let me repeat: this pizza journey started as something casual. I could get a Margherita anywhere, but at the end of the day, some pizzerias caught my eye because of particularly inventive pies. So as a casual fan of food, and not a professional blogger with a task at hand, I ordered what sounded the most appetizing to me. Plus, the Margherita isn’t the be all, end all of pizzas. The creative leaps and bounds with pizza that I discovered in Italy inspired me to find pizzerias in the local area. That being said, if any food blog editor with a budget is looking for someone to scour the NYC area and beyond for the best Margherita, let’s talk.
Is pizza even your favorite food? Why do this kind of scavenger hunt for pizza, of all things?
I really don’t have a favorite food. I have dishes and food experiences that were particularly memorable, but only preferences for one thing over another when it comes to general foods. The inspiration for this really came from the amazement over the gap between our typical conception of pizza, and the masterful work of pizzaiolos in Italy and beyond. Plus, even the best quality pizzas are cheap compared to the best of other major food categories. Maybe one day I’ll have the funds to go on a “Steak-Out”, but certainly not now.
Will there ever be a sequel to “The Summer of Pizzcapades”?
Not sure. Obviously, I now have a lot of pizzerias to go back to, and presumably more pies to try at those pizzerias and others I never made it to. So there’s potential, but at the same time, I may want to switch up any more food features I do. After all, there’s more to dish on than just pizza in this world of amazing food. And if you didn’t know, I cook some mean stuff as well. So, a full-on pizza feature? Perhaps. More food to feast your eyes on? Absolutely.
You may have to wait for me to return with more full-fledged food coverage here, but you can still follow what I’m eating on Instagram. Until my next full-length feature on the blog, I bid you adieu, hopefully with some bangin’ pizzas in your near future.