Saturday, October 6, 2007

OMG, a Celebrity Chef Made My Pizza!


Last night we went across the river to Bebo Trattoria in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, VA. This is a relatively new restaurant from celebrichef Roberto Donna. I could list all his accomplishments, but let's just sum up by saying the dude was on Iron Chef... OMG! (For a TV obsessed Gen Xer like myself, this is big stuff.)

We had heard good things about the pizza, but bad things about the service. Actually, we had quite good service... you might even say "hovering"... so I guess they have taken the bad comments to heart. The only weird part was that when we walked in, the host asked us if we had reservations and we said no, so he told us he had a "special room" for people without reservations. And he seated us in this curtained off area by ourselves. Odd. But then more people got seated there so it wasn't so weird. Anyway.

We split the mista salad as usual, and they served it in a bowl. Then I thought, why doesn't everyone serve salad in a bowl? Salad should be in a bowl, right?

We also both got a nice glass of wine-- Gary, unlike the guy in Sideways, almost always has a merlot. Someone told me that when dining in authentic Italian restaurants you can't go wrong with a Chianti. (I have always shied away from Chiantis because of the Silence of the Lambs connotations...) Well, I ordered a Chianti and it was SO smooth. I usually opt for more fruity wines but this one was excellent-- I may become a Chianti convert.

But this is a pizza blog right? So down to business. I got a red pizza with eggplant, and Gary got the margherita pizza. When our pizzas were served, the waitress said that "the chef was making the pizza today" and by "the chef" she meant THE chef, the man, the celebrichef himself, Roberto Donna! Whoooohoooo! So I was ready to dig in and realized the pizza wasn't cut (just like at 2 Amys) and it was hotter than hell. Or a woodburning oven, one of those two. So our waitress kindly came back with a pizza cutter and cut up our pies.

The pizza was most like the pizza I ate in Italy (which makes sense, since the chef is Italian, duh). It was characterized by a crust so thin that you could read a newspaper through it, and it was quite crispy. Gary complained there wasn't enough cheese, but that's how they make pizza in Italy-- thin crust, light on the sauce, light on the cheese, with a drizzle of olive oil.

I found the pizza to be quite yummy, but Gary wasn't impressed. However, it must be noted that he is suffering from a cold, so his taste buds may not be up to the usual blogging standards.

All in all, I think my American tastes prefer the pizza at Sonoma, but for authenticity, you can't beat Bebo. Gary didn't like the pizza as much, but as noted, he's playing hurt.

As we left, we saw "the man" himself in the kitchen-- they have an open kitchen located right near the door, and passersby can see the chef working. He was making a pizza and looking happy as a clam. If nothing else, you'll know that at Bebo, your pizza is made with love.

Liza's rating: 3.0 stars

Gary's rating: 2.5 stars

1 comment:

Ramona - The Houndstooth Gourmet said...

A blog devoted to pizza is absolutely inspired! I'll be checking in to see where I can get a good pie or slice.