There’s no day a pizza sounds like a bad idea. But in most places, you’re afraid to be disappointed. Recently, I discovered a genial spot in Candolim that you can count on any time, and is a serious contender as the best pizzeria in north Goa.
I was excited about Davide Cananzi and Alciela Shilla’s new venture after meeting them nearly a year ago. They have created a gorgeous environment that straddles rustic and chic, with a relaxed outdoor space and a light wooden indoor section that is perfectly warm and inviting on a rainy day.
We stopped by for our traditional experience, waiting for tastes of Italy and interesting conversation. Both surpassed expectations. We got on with some hearty conversations, taking in the contemporary work from local artists and musings from the couple behind their homes in Sardinia and Meghalaya.
With the patter of the rain outdoors, we dipped into a wonderful session of laughter and food. Such a typical Italian home experience! The menu is simple, straightforward and authentic. Nearly 80 percent of all the ingredients come straight from Italy, with vegetables and other local produce making up the rest so you are assured both fresh and authentic tastes every time.
Pizzas come in 8” and 12” sizes, with the Bella so far coming in as one of the most loved vegetarian option so far. It is topped with mascarpone, cherry tomatoes, arugula, parmesan and truffle oil, bringing a medley of flavours into each bite.
The menu also features ‘polpette’ or meatballs – either beef or lamb – done a variety of ways and served with two pieces of garlic bread. Interestingly, Davide makes most of the bread in-house, using double fermentation and his own yeast culture for spot on textures.
For sides to go with your pastas, or to simply munch on as you while away the time, enjoy any of the pizzeria’s breads. From the simple focaccina rossa – crispy bread topped with tomato sauce and oregano, to the delightful bruschetta al pomodoro – garlic bread with fresh tomato garlic and basil, they each come with Davide’s signature style.
For the meal, however, the duo did us a special. We were served the evening’s pezzo di resistenza, a calzone pizza. It isn’t on the à la carte menu, but Davide will personally make this dish if you ask nicely. The oven-baked ‘folded pizza’ was stuffed with meat and cheese, oozing as we dug into it. Although I’ve so far never been brave enough to order a calzone, I’d say this doughy airy dish is one of the most under-rated delights ever.
Alciela is the beautiful face of the restaurant and the master behind the desserts. She makes a variety of typically Italian cakes that are also available in party size, to be ordered a day in advance.
The torta di noce e zucchini is her signature pastry, a yummy walnut and zucchini cake. It is so soft you wouldn’t notice the absence of butter. The cherry on the top is the tiramisu, a secret recipe passed down by Davide’s mother Gianna that has – wait for it – no cream! It was absolutely amazing.
Davide’s Pizzeria is slowly but surely garnering a loyal fan following, and they deserve every bit of it.