Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

A friend from Toronto was visiting and she loves Neapolitan pizza, LOVES. Her favourite Neapolitan pizzeria in Toronto is Pizzeria Libretto. So when she asked me to take her somewhere good, Nicli Antica is the first place that came to my mind. The reason is because Nicli is the first pizzeria in Vancouver to be certified by the Verace Pizza Napolenta. Although to be honest I was skeptical about taking her here because when I skimmed through some photos online, surprisingly a lot of their pizza lacked that nice charred leoparding! Moreover, even some photos on their official Instagram account lacked that beautiful blistering!

Nicli is located on East Cardova in Gastown, next to sibling restaurant Nicli's Next Door. The layout of the restaurant is long, but neither narrow nor cramped. The seating arrangements are fairly comfortable and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere. There is a spacious bar, a high ceiling, and a clean modern look. We arrived right at opening (11:30am) and the staff were friendly and welcoming. The restaurant filled up fairly quick too.

I like the Rosemary and Basil oil because the flavours are really strong and it tastes good. The Chilli oil is only average for me though.

PESTO B.B.T, "Pesto, grana padano, fior di latte, house smoked bacon, tomatoes, fresh basil" ($17.00).
Rating: 4/5.
The Pesto B.B.T tastes extremely creamy, rich, cheesy and flavourful! The pesto does not taste salty one bit and has a rich flavour while the tomatoes are really juicy. The good portion of house smoked bacon tastes tender and not overly salty too.

On top of that, the crust is light, airy, fluffy and exhibits a nice smoky char flavour along with a crisp exterior. I am really glad that our pizza looks way better than many of the photos I found online! I hope Nicli is consistent...

DIAVLO - BEST IN CHOW, "Pomodoro, grana padano, mozzarella di bufala, basil, roasted green chillies, sopressata, arugula, chilli oil" ($22.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
The Diavlo is Nicli's 11th secret pizza which is on the back of the menu, so of course we had to order this. It is also the priciest pizza available too. The Diavlo is a heavier pizza rather than creamy like the Pesto B.B.T and the tomato sauce tastes very light, slightly almost on the bland side. There is a good amount of cheese however, but I wish we ordered a different pizza instead of this one. The center of the crust is also a touch on the soggier side rather than soft, but still much better than Vie Teverie's. I cannot pick up any of the chilli oil in the pizza too.

I was also disappointed when I heard our server mention to another table that there was a Smoked Prosciutto special! I would have definitely liked to try that instead.

TIRAMISU, "Classic with frangelico syrup" ($8.00).
Rating: 3/5.
Friendly and welcoming staff along with great food, means that dessert must be ordered! The housemade tiramisu tastes very fresh and is topped with shaved chocolate instead of cocoa powder. The ladyfingers are well soaked where the texture is soft without being soggy one bit, the cream tastes very fluffy, airy and not too sweet, and the frangelico syrup provides a nice mild liqueur flavour. However, the tiramisu itself has a weak, very mild and practically non-existent coffee taste. The tiramisu needs a heavier booze flavour too. The texture is on point though, but the flavours can be stronger.

Nicli Antica Pizzeria is one restaurant that I look forward to revisiting because of their friendly staff and amazing Pesto B.B.T! I highly recommend the Pesto B.B.T and consider the pizza a must order. But to be honest, I still have that sense of hesitation because I worry if the pizza on my revisit will lack that lovely leoparding because of the photos I saw online :(.

- That crust
- Above average food
- Nice atmosphere
- Quality and fresh ingredients
- Friendly and genuinely welcoming staff

- Flavours in the Tiramisu can be stronger

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5

62 East Cordova Street Vancouver, BC V6A 1K3
Telephone (604) 669-6985

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