DAY 24: OCTOBER 24th, 2010
LOCATION: Bella Via (Long Island City, Queens)
ORDER: 2 slices of Margherita, 1 slice of Quattro Formaggi, 2 slices of Rughetta E' Prosciutto di Parma
GUEST: Andrew Butterworth, Kitzi Taylor
L.I.C. - Lovin' It Coal-fired.
Situated in the heart of Long Island City, Bella Via offers a coal-fired New York-Neopolitan hybrid style pizza at Queens prices. This means for two to five dollars less per pie, you can get a significantly large pizza. Oh, and it may even taste better than places that have been around for decades.
Eight years ago, Salvatore Pollito opened up Bella Via in the up-and-coming neighborhood just over the East River. He installed a coal-fired brick oven because, in his opinion, coal-fired pizza is the best pizza -- an opinion I share as well. There is something so perfect about the crisp outside and soft, chewy center that require temperatures other fossil fuels are unable to match. Burning at over 800'F, a pie at Bella Via layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, sprinkled with Grana Padano, and loaded with crushed tomato sauce can cook in under 90 seconds. Very visible in the rear of the restaurant, the oven and its talented foreman put on a show rapidly slinging dough, topping the pies, and rotating them within the furnace with finesse. This fine-tuned machine proves that pizza making is both an art and a science.
My favorite pie was the standard Margherita. WIth no shortage of tomato sauce and fully melted fresh mozzarella cheese distributed all the way to the outer edge, every single bite is packed with flavor.
The Rughetta E' Prosciutto di Parma added a savory kick from the meat along with a crisp consistency of the arugula. Our third pie was the Quattro Formaggi. Counting the sprinkle of Grana Padano, the pie sported not four (as the name would indicate) but five different cheeses. A perfect choice for cheese lovers. Non-cheese lovers, avoid it!
I am looking forward to going back to this cozy restaurant with an awesome view of the Manhattan skyline and suggest you do the same. I mean, all the coal kids are doing it.
4.64 out of 5
19.5/21 = .929 x 5 = 4.64
1. I met Salvatore Pollito!
2. Andy Butterworth stayed at a hotel with a fancy bathrobe.