Remember going to Famoso for the event featuring world acclaimed pizza chef Roberto Caporuscio from New York City and truly enjoyed the pizzas, I purchased a deal voucher to re-visit Famoso. I wanted to see if their pizzas taste just as good without the live guidance of chef Caporuscio.
I wanted to do it now also because of our recent trip to Naples, where we had the authentic Neapolitan pizzas from L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, a local pizzeria that has been around since 1870. It was nice and hot; the dough was light yet chewy, toppings were fresh. It was so good we’re still re-living the moments 6 months later.
Enters Famoso, and an encore of the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls again because we really liked them the last time. And they were just as good as I remembered! The tomato sauce was flavourful, savoury yet not acidic. The fior-di-latte was rich, creamy and gooey; combined with the prosciutto slice this just tasted wonderfully with the tomato sauce.
We ordered two pizzas. First, the Funghi. It has a white parmesan sauce, which is less common with pizzas. And to some, this may be too light in flavours. But I liked it. I really enjoyed the richness and creaminess of the sauce and earthiness of the mushrooms, all enhanced with the taste of white truffle oil. You may think it’s heavy and you would get sick after a slice or two, but that’s definitely not the case.
As meat lovers we also ordered the Siciliana. It has the goodness of a classic Margherita with the addition of Italian meat. It’s a little bit spicy but you can still taste the tomato sauce and cheese. This is almost like an elevated version of a North American style pizza.
For dessert, another encore – the Affogato. The combination of hot espresso and cold gelato is just brilliant. And you can’t really go wrong with Nutella gelato either. We also got two extra scoops of gelato. Unless you really hate your dining companion or s/he is very ill, you should never order the scoops separately. It costs $3.50 for one scoop and $4.50 for two; I can’t imagine the scoop size would be much different so it’s probably better to just pay an extra $1 for one more scoop. I thought the Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate was quite good, although it’s borderline over salted; the Mint Stracciatella was a bit disappointing – it wasn’t very minty and you can’t really taste the dark chocolate.
Because my last visit was a special event, I never knew how Famoso’s ordering system works until now. After you are seated and have studied the menu, you have to walk over to the counter to place your order. You can either pay upfront or start a tab, either way this would be the only time you are at the counter. Food and drinks will then be brought over to your table, and you simply place additional order with your server directly at your table, as well as to pay your bill, all in the comfort of your seat. Famoso is establishing itself as a fast, casual style restaurant while providing comfort and friendly service all at the same time.
Comparing Famoso to the authentic pizzas we had in Naples, it was actually pretty good. The dough was soft and airy, with light charred marks, and the combination of toppings created great flavours. And they aren’t very expensive; prices are comparable to North American style pizzas. Famoso, despite being a restaurant chain, has one of the better Neapolitan pizzas in town.
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
1380 Commercial Drive, Vancouver