If you’ve lived in Calgary for a while then you may have been familiar with Stromboli’s Pizza in Kensington. Now, in that location is Pulcinella, an authentic napoletana pizza place. In order to carry the “authentic” label they must adhere to strict rules set out by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association (VPN), originally created in 1984 in Naples to certify pizza made in the traditional Neapolitan tradition. There are specific guidelines for everything including the size, ingredients, dough preparation and rising, and cooking, which is only done in a wood-burning oven.
Start with a caprese salad of buffalo mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano and olive oil ($13.95) or the arugula salad of arugula, pancetta, cantaloupe and olive oil ($11.95). It is best to go with a few people so you can share the dishes. As for the appetizers there is a Bruschetta Misto, which is a combination of the classic tomato bruschetta and the chef’s special with roasted red pepper and dried ricotta ($8.95). You can also share the Antipasto Misto; assorted pickled and roasted vegetables, olives, Italian cold cuts and cheeses, served with fresh Italian breads ($18.95).
The pizzas are cooked in 60 to 90 seconds in the wood burning oven and come out with a crust that is both crispy on the edges with a slight smokiness from the fire, and chewy underneath. We enjoyed the Capricciosa pizza with artichokes, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, prosciutto, tomato sauce, parmigiano and basil ($15.95) and the Crudo pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, parmigiano and basil ($15.95). The ingredients are fresh and simple and when prepared as meticulously as they are, the results are delicious and flavorful.
Make sure you leave room for dessert and sharing is a must. The Tiramisu is one of the best I’ve ever tasted ($6.95) with layers of mascarpone and Pandora panatonia soaked with amaretto and illy coffee. The Tartan is an upside down apple pie served with vanilla bean ice cream ($6.95). If you’re a fan of Nutella you cannot pass up the Saltinbocca dessert, which is a pizza crust, slathered with Nutella, folded over and sprinkled with sugar ($9.95).
So forget Pizza Hut and try Pulcinella. The meals are reasonable and definitely memorable.
1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary