Saturday, 2 September 2017

Pizza Fella - Vicar Lane, Leeds

In a part of the city that I was sure was due to demolished to make way for ‘phase two’ of Victoria Gate, I see new restaurants and bars popping up. Perhaps temporary leases or best laid plans now falling through, I’m not sure.

Pizza Fella has opened up in what was some time ago a very seedy looking sex shop. They have immigrated from their street food van, an old Citro├źn van, to somewhere a little more stationery. They’ve gone for the ‘stripped back’ look inside, with exposed ceilings and pipes, a sign that this is only a temporary lease? Or are they just following interior fashions? The small details they have added make it feel a little more homely, such as the hanging planters, candles and freshly cut flowers on each table.

The thing that makes Pizza Fella different from some of the other pizza places in town is that their pizzas are Neapolitan wood fired pizzas. The newly installed pizza oven in their place on Vicar Lane is a beast, it sits at the back and it feels like it warms the whole place.

The menu isn’t overly complicated, they’re a pizzeria so most of the menu is pizza but if you’re looking for something to accompany your pizza they also have olives and charcuterie. On this occasion we just stuck with the olives.

Each of the pizzas are made with 00 flour (something I’d like to try out myself at home) and topped with San Marzano tomatoes, unless of course you go with the Bianco which is missing the tomato base. There are 12 pizzas to choose from and named by their listing on the menu, however, both the chap and I had our eyes on the same one. Number eight, a traditional margherita topped with spicy ndjua.

The base was thick and fluffy inside with slight charring spots from the wood fire, as all traditional Neapolitan pizzas tend to be. It easy for anyone to tell that the toppings are of really good quality, there’s no grease and the cheese is pleasant and not overbearing.

For me, it didn’t quite reach the heady heights of the 13th best pizza in the world which I had in Baest in Copenhagen (review coming soon), but it definitely is one of the better pizzerias in Leeds. The menu changes frequently with the seasons, so you’ll never grow bored of the options, I’ve had a sneaky look at the menu and since visiting number 8 has been replaced by another but you’ll find something similar should you still wish to have a hit of spicy ndjua on your pizza.

In terms of drinks, there are plenty of options to choose from, including a large selection of Italian wines and Italian craft beer too. Enough to get your suitably tipsy if you try hard enough. If you’re looking for a perk up before or after your pizza they also have North Star coffee available.

The gelato is provided by an award wiining provider based in London, La Gelateria, of course we had to try some. It was delicious despite us ordering a rather uncomplimentary mix of flavours.

The staff are friendly and attentive, but not overly so, they ask us where we’re heading to next and we admit we need to get back home to feed the cats. We enjoy swapping cat tales for a little while and then head home bellies full and feeling quiet content.

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