My obsession with authentic neapolitan pizza continues! After having some of the best pizzas of my life at Nicli Antica, I just couldn’t have normal pizzas anymore. My latest expedition led me to Verace Pizzeria and Enoteca, a relatively quiet restaurant just off the edge of Chinatown. With Nicli setting the gold standard in the quality of neapolitan pizza in Vancouver, how well did Verace fare?
With Nicli Antica and Pizzeria Farina in relative close proximity, these two restaurants and Verace formed the triangle of quality napoletana pizzas in Vancouver. Verace is located next to T&T, in the round about at the end of Keefer, just outside of Chinatown. Decor was more rustic, and the atmosphere felt like a classic Italian fare. I made three visits, and each time there was a laptop on the bar, as if someone was in the middle of doing their books. Is the Godfather coming in later to check up on things? Maybe they should keep the laptops and receipts away from the prying eyes of customers, or in this case, food blogger that are also accountants!
Managed to come here with a co-worker for a power lunch. He ordered the Benevento, with Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted garlic, and bresaola, topped with arugula tossed with grana padano and white truffle oil. When the server bought it to the table, I pretty much laughed because I thought he had a salad. The amount of arugula was staggering. The bresaola (i.e. the dried, salted beef) was well seasoned, it was a bit salty, but went well with the arugula. The roasted garlic bought some sweetness to the pizza which contrast out the taste. Nice. The pizza was a bit dry, but I guess it’s more to my co-worker’s taste.
And then there’s my Funghi, with Mushroom cream, cipollini balsamic onions, mixed crimini, portabella, and oyster mushrooms topped with fresh oregano, grana padano and evoo. I took the server’s suggestion to add the buffalo mozzarella, and I was glad that I did. Presentation just screamed out “eat me”. There was quite a bit of ingredients, and it showed. I could just smell the cream infused with the ingredients! I snapped the pictures quickly and did my best not to drool all over my camera while doing so. The pizza tasted amazing. As expected, the crust was, of course, thin. The cream and the buffalo mozzarella together was rich and creamy, and the mushrooms added quite a bit of texture and flavor to every bite. Overall it tasted like a mushroom pasta dish in pizza form. Adding the garlic infused oil on the table was good, but the pizza tasted MUCH better with the oregano infused oil – this thing just melted in my mouth.
Needless to say, I was stuffed with cream and mushroom infusion and was pretty much unproductive for the rest of the afternoon. But it was worth it! Several days later, I came back and ordered a take out, the Verace Margherita DOP. However, it didn’t survive the journey, and it didn’t taste as good as I thought when I got home (despite driving really fast), so hearing my two cents on here would be unfair. Rule to self: they should always be eaten fresh off the oven!
Overall, service was good. Staff was friendly, passionate, and knowledgable although the laptop on the bar somehow irritated me. I thought the Funghi was top notch, and I even came back again for a take out (again, didn’t taste as good when I got home). With its relatively quiet location, getting a seat is easy, so there’s no point of doing take out’s. Forget about Pizza Huts and Domino’s, make your conversion to authentic Italian pizzas now! I know I did.