There are few places that can successfully combine incredibly tasty food, relaxed yet trendy atmosphere, and a level of service which makes you feel like you’ve come home. For clarity’s sake, let’s refer to this combination as: The Holy Trio (of Foodie Heaven).
Yes, Holy Trios are far and few between, but I’m happy to report that newly opened Noi Pizzera is among those rare foodie destinations which triumph in uniting the elusive trio of food, atmosphere and service.
It was about two years ago when Elena and Michele moved on from Amici in Heidelberg, leaving loyal patrons like us with heavy hearts – not just because we would miss the brilliant food, but their infectious company as well. After a stint at Woodstock Pizzicheria, the power duo decided it was time to make their magic again; the two of them and their band of merry men (and women). Let’s take a moment to bless the day that happened….
Of course, we couldn’t resist booking in on their opening night…and a booking was definitely required. Every single friend and follower of the incredible pizza-making Saint, Michele, came out of the woodwork on Thursday, Feb 6th 2014 to experience the legend all over again. If you were there, you would have seen the smiles, laughs, and hugs; and truly felt like you had arrived to a family reunion. Whose? The Noi.
Okay, let’s put it out on the table. Yes, there were apparent opening night jitters, a hiccup in our drink order (which was promptly rectified) and repetitive (yet happy) questions from over eager staff. But it was opening night; we understand it’s going to take a few weeks to get the mojo right again, to get their groove back on. Especially now they’re hosting a much larger space and more staff than at Amici’s.
Food time! A simple menu ensures what comes out will be good. So, Shawn got a serve of the Arancini ($12.00) to start with, which were tasty and moist inside a crunchy outer shell. I had the Caprese salad ($16.00) which I must now consider as the second best I’ve ever had (it’s all about that cheese for me folks!). We sipped on bottles of Coke ($3.50/each), munched on our starters, and soaked in the atmosphere. Exposed brick walls, trendy industrial light fixtures, chunky tables, token Italian paraphernalia here and there …. and the incredible amount of talking and laughing from people who all seemed to have faces expressing, “I’m so lucky to be part of this opening night!”
Eager to see if the magic was still there, we were hanging for our pizzas to make their way to our table. And when they did, I swore angels sang. Or at the very least, I did. Thankfully, it was so busy and the room overjoyed with boisterous and fun-loving patrons, that no one heard 😉
Shawn had the Noi Pizza ($20.00), with tomato base, mozzarella, onions, shaved ham, roasted peppers, olives, mushrooms and “the most amazing hot salami I’ve ever eaten“. Yup, I quoted that because that’s what he said. 😉 When prodded to explain further, Shawn is at a loss for words and just looks at me. Okay, I’ll leave him to enjoy his moment…
I went the 4 Formaggi Pizza ($18.00) which was absolutely delicious, as you realize by now – it’s all about the cheese: Mozzarella, Parmigiano, and Gorgonzola. Okay, so that’s 3 not 4. Lemme explain, I was warned when I ordered, that the usual Swiss that goes on the pizza – to make up the 4th cheese – wasn’t available. Looking back now, I can presume the more mild flavour of the Swiss would’ve tamed the saltiness of the Gorgonzola because by the time I ate the last little bit, its saltiness had taken over my mouth. In saying that though, it was still 98% beautiful and completely, totally eaten, gone, bye-bye.
Let’s not skim over one of Noi’s treasures: the best pizza dough….ever.
New term for this level of good: Incredi-dough.
Made with Italian flour?
Made with love?
I know there are a lot of amazing pizza places out there, but this dough tastes brilliant on its own. Hmm, getting hungry just thinking about it! Also, if you haven’t tried it before, give their self-made chili oil a go (literally chopped chilies in a cup of oil handed to you with a spoon), it’s a perfect way to top off those quality ingredients and tastes sooooo lovely on that amazing pizza crust!
We finished our meal with the Strawberry Pizzetta ($15.00), with it’s dollops of thick sweet Nutella, fresh strawberries dancing in sweet sauce, and dusted with icing sugar. And yes, that gorgeous pizza dough again.
In all honesty, for a first night – staff still training, things yet to arrive, and people everywhere – we were fully impressed at how well everything was handled. However, I will say, we were both inclined to be impressed because we enjoy Elena’s contagious energy and the warm atmosphere it generates. But don’t think we’re being blinded by partiality here, we wouldn’t steer you wrong my fellow pizza lovers…. if you want the Holy Trio of Food, Atmosphere and Service – go to Noi Pizzeria.
And make a booking, otherwise you’ll be sad when you get politely turned away for showing up without notice. Then you’ll be even more distressed when you find out you can’t get takeaway because the restaurant is so busy they can’t spare the Incredi-Dough, as the dine-in patrons have ordered it all up.
Even though all her staff are uber-friendly and smile from ear to ear, if you want the paramount of brilliant customer service, go on a Friday or Saturday when Elena’s there… she’ll take very good care of you.
Buon Appetito!!! (✿◠‿◠)
Flavour: ★★★★★ ✔
Service: ★★★★★ ✔
Atmosphere: ★★★★★ ✔