In terms of food trends, Pizza is HOT in Van city. Over the past few years, Italian-inspired pizzerias have been popping up all over the city (Nicli in Gastown, Novo and Bebo in Kits, Verace in Crosstown, Barbarella and Via Tevere in East Van) and I don't see this trend going anywhere. Vancouver loves a good pizza!
Pizzeria Farina has been around for just over a year and thriving in its location at Main and Union, right near the Cobalt, across the street from Campagnolo and Electric Owl. They don't pretend to be "Neopolitan" and follow that strict pizza code but go with that style. They aren't flying in flour and tomatoes from Italy or using a wood fire oven. They instead they work that style and do a three day artisan pizza dough and focus on simple, quality, delicious ingredients. There are seven pizzas available and they range from $9 to $14 - Marinara, Margherita, Funghi, Quattro Formaggi, Calabrese, Finocchiona, and a daily special, with add on topping options. The pizzas are simple, with few toppings, and they certainly don't load the toppings on these pies. They are cut in quarters.
I went to the Leggy Red Head's place for dinner and Asian Super Director took our orders, picked up, and arrived with our individual pizzas.
I ordered a Marinara: Tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, basil & oregano $9, with anchovies $2 extra.
This was simple good-ness. The crust was blistered and puffy with brown spots. It tasted like a thin artisan bread with an amazing chew and slight crispiness. It's not salty or herb-y, but this crust has a robust full flavour that compliments and balances well with the toppings. It got slightly soft in the middle but still held up and kept its chew without overcoming to sogginess. The tomato sauce was almost a bit creamier and heavier that I'm used to with a nice deep flavour and slight tartness- i really liked it. The garlic was whole cloves- they were tender, creamy and caramelized- gave the pizza so much flavour. The anchovies were just downright awesome- I love that BIG salty, umami flavour kick. They only put four on the pizza, and they aren't big fishies, but they pack a big punch. I'm sure my breath was not awesome after this pizza, but I sure was!
Asian Super Director ordered the Funghi: Mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan, red onion, garlic and arugula $13. This pizza had no tomato sauce. I tried a little piece- and it was great. The pizza had a nice even layer of thinly sliced mushrooms- I think there was button, crimini, and maybe even some oyster mushrooms. Again- the roasted garlic just rocks! The Leggy Red Head also tried a piece and commented that it was comparable to her favourite mushroom pizza at Cascade.
The Leggy Red Head and the Italian Stallion both ordered the Finocchiona: Fennel sausage, tomato sauce, provolone, parmesan, and spicy peppers $14. I didn't try this but it looked pretty amazing.
Big thumbs up for Pizza Farina- great dough and amazing fresh, quality toppings (although for some, they seem a little sparse!) A delicious and filling meal for a fair price.