Well, it's official. Varasano's Pizzeria doesn't suck.
No, really. I lunched there with my usual Friday companion Brad Lapin and Frank Miller. Brad, as I've reported many times before, lives in Rome part of the year and is a super-picky eater. He ordered the Nana. Frank chose the New Haven Clam and I ordered the Margherita and paid $5 extra for bufala rather than the fiordilatte mozzarella.
Personally, I found Brad's choice much too gooey in the center, but he considered it a minor objection, claiming the pizza style belongs more to Rome than Naples. My own pizza (pictured) was really delicious: the appropriate crispy outer crust, bufala melting into the tomato sauce but not losing its solidity, enough basil to provide an occasional blast of flavor and not too soft in the center. Frank's clam feast, not my favorite there because of the ultra-heavy garlic, looked structurally sound.
I was surprised to find the restaurant nearly empty on a warm afternoon ideal for patio dining.
The debate will continue whether Varasano's or Fritti serves the better pizza, but I'll be craving the Margherita regularly.
(Photo by Cliff Bostock)
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