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“Each pizza is like a teardrop; every one is different,” the enthusiastic Chef Matthew White shared with us - oh yes, he actually used the word ‘teardrop’. (Has someone been listening to Coldplay?) Sourced from Philadelphia, and with a background in French cooking, Chef White is no stranger to making pizzas. In fact, he says “making pizza is fun” while introducing us to the pizzeria.
The interior is kept casual yet contemporary, with clean displays and loud signboards. I liked how you can see the hustle and flow of the works as orders are being processed and readied.
The ceiling, in particular, is done in a very dramatic way–elongating and adding a unique touch to the place. Just don’t stare too long at it.
I would say Extra Virgin Pizza is a rebel. Their pizzas are made with globally sourced premium ingredients: flour from faraway Naples, organic tomatoes from California, great cheeses and meats from Italy, France, etc. No preservatives and additives – ‘fighting’ the regimen of AVA to import more crazy, fresh stuff – ingredients are limited and so are the pizzas!
The Lo & Behold Group really pulls out all the stops for this new casual pizzeria concept, bringing in two large Woodstone ovens–taking less than 2 minutes to cook pizzas at searing temperatures of 450 degrees Celsius!
Onto the food! We started off with a starter of Oven-fired clams ($18). I appreciate that the dish came with some extra garlic virgin bread, to conveniently soak up the sweet juices and white wine combination. The clams were fresh, imported in every 2 days, and quite a good portion to share.
The bread is good–soft inside with a slightly tougher crust. The only thing I could want with the dish was a wet towel so I could wipe the crumbs off with.
I could smell the Ricotta and Provolone cheeses from the veal & ricotta meatballs ($15) even before digging in. The tomato sauce is light and doesn’t overpower the natural taste of the tender and moist meatballs, to which the chef executed well.
Before we move onto the main stars of the cheekily named and logo-ed Extra Virgin Pizza, I must get this out of my system: they have weird music. When we first entered, I heard Pussycat Dolls, and through our meal, it became a mix of Reggae. Only a small factor, but it just kept me puzzled on this awkward mix with Italian food.
Due to the high temperatures of the oven, our pizzas came with the black spots, distinctive of Neapolitan pizzas. The spicy pepperonipizza ( $22)–tomato, mozzarella, spicy pepperoni, chili flakes, oregano–was superb! The thin crust is light, chewy with slightly ‘crusty’ parts and possessed that slightly ‘burnt’ flavour that enhance the taste of the imported pepperoni.
I have eaten pizzas all the way in the US of A, and this really brings back memories of trench coats, scarves and New York City. Don’t bother using utensils, just get down and dirty with the pizzas here!
Against all instincts to order another meat-based pizza, we tried the recommended pistachiopizza ($24)–pistachio pesto, mozzarella, baby aruglula, lemon vinaigrette, parmigiano reggiano.
The very green, and vegetarian, pizza topped with loads of fresh baby arugula seemed slightly more oily than the previous pizza, probably from the caramelized pistachio pesto which gave the pizza a bit more of a crusty edge.
Though I usually prefer meats, if all pizzas were this awesome–with a somewhat earthy, fresh taste–I’m saying goodbye to meats!Nothing better to wash down carbs with than desserts. I ordered the Nutella panna cotta ($8) with hopes of a sinful dessert. The actual dish though, was light and smooth, not thick and rich. Not that the dessert was bad–it definitely is not ‘jelak’–but I expected something richer with the mention of ‘Nutella’.
Luckily, their tiramisu ($8) shone through. They’ve manged to achieve that fine balance of Mascarpone and espresso-soaked ladyfingers, though the alcohol was very faint and I could hardly taste it. Desserts may not yet be a forte here, but this is a pizzeria after all.
Note that there aren’t any indoor seats within the restaurant–or I should say ‘stall’–so everyone has to cosy up outdoors on some hard grilled metal chairs. I can only recommend ladies not to wear short skirts.
Should you not want to submit yourself to the hard metal seats, takeaway services are available, with delivery services starting in early 2012.
Did it turn us on?
Say ‘YES’ to virgins. Extra Virgin Pizzas, I mean.