This past Friday, some friends and I had dinner at Nicli Antica, a Neopolitan-style pizzeria on the outskirts of Gastown. After a 45 minute wait – and be prepared to wait because this place gets real busy – we were finally seated and began to peruse the menu. It was a great menu, and I finally settled on the appetizer feature for the night, burratta with figs and balsamic, and a Spalle di Maille pizza – pomodoro, slow cooked pork shoulder, roasted garlic, and ricotta. I also took a Napoletana to go, and others tried the Funghi, Proscuitto e Rucola, Bianco, and the pizza special which had a very intriguing hazelnut sausage and kale topping. It was phenomenal pizza, with a thin, perfectly blistered and charred crust, a light pomodoro, and fresh, well thought out toppings.
We had dessert as well: the tiramisu and the daily chocolate, which on Friday night, happened to be a chocolate-hazelnut cake with mascarpone cream. I liked the tiramisu, although I’ve definitely had better, and the chocolate-hazelnut cake…well let’s talk about that for a sec. Flavour-wise, it was good – rich, with a lot of hazelnut coming through. But the texture was so unexpected…and not necessarily in a good way. It did not taste like a cake at all, but was rather, more like a hard, almost gelatinous ganache. And the mascarpone cream, the component I was most excited for, was simply an extra stiff whipped cream, without even a hint of mascarpone. I can’t really fault them for mediocre desserts though – I mean, they are a pizzeria, not a pattiserie. Like I said, phenomenal pizza, probably the best I’ve had in Vancouver. Try it if you haven’t already.
62 E Cordova Street