While San Mateo is rarely on my radar, I am sure grateful I got a chance to try out Acqua Pazza downtown. My friend Amy was invited to try out their offerings, and I was more than happy to tag along! I had heard good things about them, and I was certainly curious to try- just the chance never presented itself!
So, you have to wonderful, yet another place that claims authentic Neapolitan pizza? Well, yes, but also so much more! The three brothers that own Acqua Pazza are from Naples, and are very proud of their heritage! Their offering is not limited to pizza, but to the whole range of Neapolitan cuisine, including a burrata that gets shipped from Italy, caponata, arancini, a plethora of mouth-watering fish dishes and vegetable-heavy suggestions. Anything that is not directly from Italy comes from local producers: the vegetables form Half Moon Bay, the fish from Monterey- that’s always nice in my book!
We started with what I think was the best dish I had- a Caponata di verdure that would be able to resuscitate the dead!! Delicious sweet peppers and eggplants with capers and olive oil, marinated till they can be spread over bread- I found this impossibly good! Served witha bread made of pizza dough, warm, it was really a perfect way to be entertained while we were scouring the menu!
Next stop was a mixed antipasti platter that showcased an imported burrata as its main feature. The texture of the burrata was soft and delicious, and the crostini with fava bean puree were a really nice side. I did not care for the diced beets- while I usually really like red beets, these were a bit bland… but the dish did not miss them!
We then ordered a margherita pizza, made the traditional Neapolitan way with double zero flour from Mulino Caputo, San Marzano tomato sauce (San Marzano tomatoes are protected by the DOP seal!) and imported mozzarella di bufala, with a touch of basil. The dough was delicious: springy and soft at the core, just a perfect consistency, and the tomato sauce was delicious. The only fault Amy and I found in this pizza was the amount of cheese: we both agreed we’d ask it with less mozzarella next time, as it felt like it overloaded the dish and made it a bit too heavy.
We ended lunch on a high note with a delicious Baba’ al Rum, a Naple’s special to be remembered (although I could have done without the whipped cream- which is saying something, considering how CRAZY I am about whipped cream!).