Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pizza Dinner at Marcello Pizzeria -- Could have been better

Marcello Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
I had heard about Marcello Pizzeria & Ristorante's forno roast chicken (from their website: "The forno roast chicken is spectacular...") and wanted to try it. Everyone knows Marcello's is famous for their Neapolitan pizza, but pizza is better with a whole gang of friends who aren't waist conscious, and I was dining alone.

Turned out to be a non-event... I got there around 9pm, and the first obstacle was the fact that they had run out of chicken (!).
Then the server balked when I asked about their famous oven-roasted chicken, and said it really wasn't anything special.

So, on to pizza then! The first thing that struck me was how the pizzas were mostly 1 or 2 topping pizzas. If you look at their online menu, you'll notice that most of the pizzas are "Tomato sauce, mozzarella, X, Y". Honestly, doesn't every pizza come with tomato sauce and mozza? You'd really only mention those basics when a pizza DOESN'T have them.

There was one called "Marcello" (anchovies, black olives, capers, onion), and when I asked about whether it was the house special, again the server balked. This time, it was about the anchovies and he asked if I was okay with that. Although I said I was, he nevertheless recommended the Capricciosa (ham, salame, artichokes, black olives, mushrooms), saying it was the most commonly ordered one. Probably because it had a lot of toppings for the same price.

I had trouble deciding between the two, and the server offered to do a half-and-half.

I had also asked about the dessert menu. It was all ice cream and specialty coffee. Even the server said "there's nothing going on here". I gave it a pass.

The pizza came in relatively short order, and given that it was a busy night, I wasn't surprised that it hadn't been laid out as carefully as it could have been. I felt most of the toppings had made its way toward the core, which made that region too soggy to pick up. The flavours worked fine (yes, even the Marcello anchovies), but with things tending to bunch up, you got a mouthful of pizza with way too large chunks of salty olive, and then had to finish the remainder, which was crust brushed with tomato sauce -- Everything else had slid down when I was forced to transfer the soggy slice to my plate and use a fork and knife.

It's hard to say, but I think if the ingredients had been distributed better, each slice might have had a decent chance of being picked up, even if you had to support the slice with your other hand.

Overall the flavours were good, and it did taste better than your typical bulk pizza from, say, Pizza Factory. At $14.95 + tax + tip, it comes out to about $20 for a medium pizza. Two mediums would have been good for three persons, I think.

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