The taunting did not last long. I found myself back at Caffe Calabria Saturday evening trying their pizza. I don’t know if it was because it had been over a year since I sunk my teeth into true Neapolitan pizza or if it was just because I really, really wanted the food to be sort of close to authentic but I truly enjoyed my dinner. I wasn’t necessarily transported back to Naples but I was very satisfied. Caffe Calabria is set up to give the feeling of alfresco dining at a cafe in Italy. We joked that if they were trying to mimic Naples they missed adding the cigarette butts and trash (which would not go over well in San Diego).
We started with a couple antipasti. I was excited to see they had one of my favorites…bresaola (see “A Sentimental Wine For A Sentimental Night” – Mar 26, 2010). I’ve tasted renditions of this in Little Italy but everyone else uses filet mignon carpaccio – Caffe Calabria actually serves authentic cured bresaola.
We also tried the Salumi Misti which was a wonderful cross section of meats with a few bonus items thrown in such as olives, fresh figs and Calabrian peppers.
Of course the star of the show was the pizza (almost crazy I’ve waited this long to mention it!). My husband ordered the “Margherita D.O.C.” (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) adorned with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala. I ordered the “Rubino” with creme fraiche, speck, caramelized onion, gorgonzola, grana padano, and fresh thyme. My husband’s pizza was definitely good and, as the designation states, truly authentic. I can’t say I’ve seen the likes of the “Rubino” in Naples but oh my goodness it was incredibly tasty! This is the pizza I will probably crave!
Besides quality ingredients the wood fire oven lends to the depth of flavor in these “as advertised” pizzas (“finest Neapolitan pizza in San Diego”). I love the divots and blackened air bubbles which created texture and kept my taste buds dancing. We washed everything down with a bottle of Chianti Superiore and when we ran out kept the momentum going with a Chianti Riserva. I hope I will find myself back at Caffe Calabria often….possibly regularly.