Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pizzeria Il Buco

Address: Via Ruggero Grieco, 7/b, 40133, Bologna (BO), Italy. 051430128.

Review: First things first: yes, I ate pizza. I know I said I wouldn't, but my Bologna friends picked Pizzeria Il Buco for dinner, so I couldn't rightly not eat, could I? Anyway, it's difficult not to down some pizza in Italy because it's so completely ubiquitous.

So, a word on Il Buco's decor: it's Mexican-inspired, with crazy sombreros and the whole bit. Never seen anything like it in Italy before.

To complete the Mexican theme, the appetizer, which was a sampling of three "dips" and some oven back flat bread, included a spicy tomato salsa. Perhaps not surprisingly, the salsa was the weakest of the three dips. The other two were a tapenade and a tuna salad, both okay but nothing special.

After the appetizer came the main course: big stinkin' pizzas. I had one with tomatoes, mozzarella, gorgonzola, speck (a smoked prosciutto product), salami picante, and a circular swirl of mascarpone.

This was, without doubt, the largest pizza I've ever eaten in Italy; unfortunately; it wasn't the best. The dough (i.e., the most important element) was okay, but the toppings really didn't bring that much flavor to the party. I couldn't for the life of me distinguish between the mozzarella and the gorgonzola. The speck didn't impart much smokey flavor, and there was only a very few pieces of salami picante. Ultimately, the tastes were sufficiently indistinctive that I could have ordered something different and it would have tasted about the same. The one real bright spot was the mascarpone, which lent an interestingly slight sweetness to the pizza. It's the first time I've included mascarpone on a pizza, but it won't be the last.

And on to dessert.

This braided behemoth is called treccie con la nutella. (Treccie refers to the dessert's braided look.) Essentially, it's a pastry filled with nutella and topped with powdered sugar. Simple, simple, simple, and good, good, good. You realize early on in the eating process that a treccie is everything you wanted to eat as a child (bread, chocolate, sugar and sugar), but your parents would let you because it would ruin your appetite. Thankfully, now you can ruin your appetite as you please. Upon knifing yourself a generous portion, the warm nutella begins oozing all over kingdom come. The first bite is a gooey, wonderful mess. The pastry portion has just enough butter and milk baked in to stand up to the richness of the nutella. The second, third, forth, fifth, ad infinitum bites are just as good as the first. Ultimately, it's completely addictive, and you find yourself embracing the addiction with abandon.

In fine, pizza, okay, dessert, yum.

Rating: 6/10 (5/10 is average). The treccie saved this rating from somewhere in the 5/10 range.

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