August 24th, 2016
Kevin and I sat and had dinner with Dan Bavaro last Thursday night. We wanted to truly understand the nature of Napoletana style pizza. We have seen a few reviews where people complained about the wetness of the pizza. Well guess what folks?...that is how it is supposed to be. Do not walk into Bavaro's expecting a slice of deep dish or NY Style Pizza. Open your mind to trying something new. This is a totally different experience and it is supposed to be.
Napoletana style pizza is the first pizza in history. It is a very soft pizza on the inside and crisp on the outside. This is not pick up and eat pizza. It is meant to be eaten with a fork and knife.
At Bavaro's they use only the finest ingredients and they import all primary ingredients, in addition to the Italian meats and cheeses. The sauce is made in house at the Bavaro's location in Tampa and the staff drives over to get it.
The pizza is cooked in their imported wood-fired oven at 900 degrees for only 90 seconds. The reason the pizza is wet is because the cheese is a very moist cheese and also because of the juices from the meats. To quote Dan, "We could dry this pizza out by dropping the temperature of the oven about 150 degrees to 750 degrees, but then we'd just be the same, just a pizzeria - with no history. We're doing something people did in the 1800's and we didn't change anything. That's pretty cool."
They have been open in Tampa for 8 years. They have a location in Orlando as well and are set to open a fourth location at the Tampa Airport, Airside C, in November/December of this year.
We started with the Ricotta Meatballs made with Ground Beef & Pork, Pancetta, Ricotta, Parmiggiano Reggiano, Sour-dough Bread, Garlic, Basil, Parsley and Sea Salt served with a Pomodoro Sauce. They were very flavorful and had a nice texture.
Next we had the Antipasto Italiano which consisted of Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Soppressata, Mixed Olives, Provolone Piccante, Asiago and Parmigiana Reggiano. Delicious, fresh and very high quality.
We followed the Antipasto with the Penne Alla Vodka which is Penne Pasta with San Marzano Tomato, Pancetta, Onion and Panna. Simple and absolutely delicious!
And then for the star of the show...the Tre-Carne Pizza. It has San Marzano Tomato, Fior de Latte, Soppressata, Prosciutto, Spicy Italian Sausage, Basil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Olive Oil also adds to the wetness of the pizza. You will see a picture of our half eaten pie. This is how the pan is supposed to look. It was absolutely to die for! This is pizza like you have never had before.
Next, Dan insisted on having us try dessert and ordered a Homemade Cannoli - Fried cannoli shell with vanilla ricotta cream. Light, airy and oh so tasty!
If you have been to Bavaro's and thought the pizza was odd, go again with an open mind and new knowledge and try it again. As if you were eating a whole different type of food. If you have never been, you are missing out. Get your foodie butt to Bavaro's for some Napoletana style pizza!
Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria
945 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33701