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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ancora Pizzeria and Salumeria

Ancora Pizzeria and Salumeria is part of the Freret Street resurgence. Located just a block or so off Napoleon, they serve authentic Neapolitan pizzas. What does that mean? These pizza's are cooked in a wood fired pizza oven imported from Naples that gets up to 850 degrees and cooks the pizza in 45 to 80 seconds. With that fast of a bake, the toppings have to be minimal and crust super thin. That also means that every item must be at the peak of flavor. What is so good about Ancora is that they are.

We started with drinks (Charlotte had an adult root beer float and I had an Italian sidecar) and a meat plate with a mix of house-made cured meats. While I'm not a fan of headcheese, everything else on the board was delicious and almost too rich. I could have used a piece of bread with the slices but, as the pizza was coming, I just enjoyed the meat.

We ordered the Margherita pizza with tomato, fior di latte and basil. The tomato was bright, the cheese was in slices, so it didn't cover quite enough but was perfectly melted and the basil added a terrific flavor. I really enjoyed the crust--lightly chewy and puffed on the edges. Because the pizza's are so thin and only about 11 inches, had there been any more of us at the table, we would have needed to order a second pizza.

We had glasses of Italian wine with the meal--Charlotte with a rose and me with a Feudi di San Gregorio red. The wine list is set up with pairs for each pizza and her choice was good and the waiter steered me well on his recommendation.

We missed out on the chocolate dessert and ended up just getting the cookie plate. All right but nothing particularly noteworthy (although I'll skip the anise flavored one next time).

There weren't that many other folks in the place but there was a bit of ambient noise. It would probably be pretty loud on a busier night. The bartender and both waiters swung by the table regularly to check in and refill the water. Everyone was friendly and quick with suggestions, especially when we told them that we hadn't ever been in before.

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