Most memorable meals out in 2011 - Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Over the next few weeks I am posting, in no particular order, some of my most memorable meals out in 2011.

Just to recap...I wrote about a very memorable meal at Vij's, a delicious nuevo latino meal at Cobre, and the nine-course tasting heaven experienced at C.

Today we're talking about the beautiful thing that is Neapolitan pizza...

Nicli Antica Pizzeria - A few summers ago Chantelle and I spent six weeks travelling around Europe and nearly 3 weeks in Italy alone. We ate very well. But truth be told, the pizza they are serving up at Nicli is the best that either of us have ever had. Chantelle doesn't even typically like pizza, but she has been back to Nicli even more times than I have! When either of us are craving pizza Nicli has become our go to place.

The menu here is simplicity at its best. You will not find any pasta or any typical entrees here, which I can appreciate. Just a few antipastis, and about 10 different pizzas. Not to take anything away from the other varieties (which are all very delicious), but for me, the Margherita is where it's at. I beleive the best way to judge a pizzeria is by it's Margherita pizza, and Nicli blew our socks off! It may possibly be the best $12 you will ever spend.

Nicli Antica Pizzeria - Margherita pizza

If making the perfect pizza is an art, then the chefs at Nicli are modern day Picassos. From the consistency of the crust (00 Caputo flour)...to the flavour, balance, and controlled volume of the sauce (San Marzano tomatoes)...to the quality of the cheese (Fior di Latte, or mozzarella de Bufala)...to the fresh basil that they are growing and snipping on the counter...it is a pizza done to perfection. If it's not already on the table, ask for the chili oil, which is a great way to finish off your crusts.

These guys are serious about their pizza to say the least. Aside from the high quality ingredients listed above, their wood-burning Acunto oven, imported from Naples, cooks their pizzas at 900°F in just 90 seconds. They are one of only six certified Vera Pizza Napoletana restaurants in Canada. (The only other VPN certified restaurant this side of Ontario is Pizzeria Prima Strada in Victoria, and although very good I have to tip my cap to Nicli as superior).

It seems that their dedication to their craft is paying off. Opening their doors in 2011, they are packed to the gills on most nights that I have seen, and won Scout Magazine's readers poll for best new restaurant in the city.

Have you been to Nicli Antica Pizzeria? What's your most memorable pizza experience?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Anonymous –   – (January 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM)  

Couldn't agree with you more. My wife and I lived in NYC for a few years and thought we were lucky to have lived in such close proximity to thincrust standouts like Otto and Posto. Turns out, our best move for pizza was moving back to Vancouver and visiting Nicli. Like you, I can't get away from the Margherita - it's simple, and simply the perfect pizza. I've since met Bill McCaig through a mutual friend and his laid-back, unpretentious, friendly attitude seem to shine through in his restaurant. Love this place and always look forward to our next visit. Chris Galer @chrisgaler

Mark –   – (January 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM)  

Nice! Thanks for the comment Chris. The pizza in NYC is damn good as well, but Nicli is still our favorite. Ordering at least one Margharita for the table is a must. And I agree, the friendly vibe is another reason to go back.

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