Wednesday, July 11, 2012

La Perla Pizzeria

Venice has never been my favorite Italian city for dining. Prices seem higher than in most other Italian cities and bargains, as well as creative recipes, are few and far between. La Perla is an exception and provides a wide and creative selection of pizze at a fair price of 8 euro each. 


It is located across the street from the Giorgione movie theater that most tourists never get to see. Set blocks away from the main thoroughfares, it takes some effort to find, but that in itself is a nice thing, as it brings you into a neighborhood where you might better imagine how the Venetians live.


Cannaregio is filled with "off the beaten track" enclaves and La Perla is located in one of them to serve the community. I had read about it in Chow! Venice and was delighted to have actually found it in 2008, as I made my way from the Jesuit Church on Fondamenta Nuove down toward Campo dei Santi Apostoli on the Strada Nova.

After reading the descriptions of 99 pizza on the menu, I settled for a non traditional recipe made with pureed zucca, mozzarella, Gorgonzola and arugula. It was a nice departure from more traditional recipes. The menu also includes antipasti, pasta and main courses. The Spaghetti Carbonara was decent, but not a great version of the classic dish. Regional food in Italy really should be tried in the region of origin first, so you have a point of comparison. All in all, this restaurant is a good choice for pizza and a moderately priced meal. I left knowing I'd be happy to go back one day.

That day came in 2012 when I brought my niece to Italy for a graduation from college trip. Neither of us were shy about ordering a whole pizza. I had told her about the pizza I had already tried and she liked the zucca option so well, she ordered her pizza with squash, fresh tomatoes, and riccota salata. It was a novelty for her to see a pizza with no tomato sauce or mozzarella. With a newly developed allergy to blue cheese, I could no longer order the zucca pizza so I decided to see what they could do with a classic like mushroom. 
Neither of us was disappointed with our choice and I was happy to see porcini on a pizza, something I can never find at home. We decided to cap them off with an Aperol. That was a mistake for me, since Aperol is every bit as bitter as Compari, which I loath. They're pretty to look at, but not everyone's cup of tea.  

Rio Terra dei Franceschi 4615
Cannaregio, Venezia
Closed Sunday