After all the hype from local foodies regarding the opening of Via Tevere earlier in the spring, I was really curious to go and try it while visiting Vancouver back in June. I had high expectations prior to going because a few of the trusted local foodies had declared that Via Tevere was a contender for Top Neapolitan Pie in Vancouver. Via Tevere is run by the same Morra brothers, Domenic and Giorgio, who own and operate Pizza Ragazzi in East Van. Via Tevere is pretty much as close to the real deal Neapolitan experience as one could get here short of going to Naples. Not only is Via Tevere certified with the Associazion Verace Pizza Napoletana, the Morra family is actually from Naples. In fact, this pizzeria is named after the street ‘Via Tevere’ in Naples that their father grew up on.
As I walked in the door, the first thing I noticed was the impressive centerpiece behind the pizza bar, the baby blue Stefano Ferraro wood-fired oven. The pizzas are baked in this dome-shaped wood-fired oven at 485°C for 60 to 90 seconds. In keeping with the Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) standards, Via Tevere’s pies are made with Caputo Tipo double zero flour, San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil.
We started off with the Rucola con Limone ($8), which was an arugula salad dressed with a lemon caper vinaigrette along with red onion and parmigiano reggiano. Though it didn’t really have a wow factor, the salad was well-dressed and a refreshing way to start off our meal.
After much anticipation, the star of the show arrived. My friend C and I had shared Prosciutto e Funghi ($15). This pizza was topped with a San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte, prosciutto, and mushrooms. It did not fail to impress. The pizza had a light and fluffy, yet crispy cornicione (crust) with blacked blisters. The center was thin and soft with the cheese perfectly melted just as I have come to expect from an authentic Neapolitan pizza.
The pizza was nicely charred on the bottom and had the leoparding (leopard-spotting) throughout that the pizza aficionados look for in a well-made pie. The ingredients were very fresh and the flavours well-balanced. So how does this compare to the other pizza places I’ve tried around Vancouver? I actually think Via Tevere has become my new favourite.
For dessert, we shared an order of the Graffe Nutella ($8). Graffe are actually a Neapolitan fried donut made with flour, potato, yeast and sugar. These pieces of fried dough were tossed in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with nutella and white chocolate. They were light and fluffy. It was the perfect way to end of our meal.
We were so impressed with our meal at Via Tevere that we decided to go back two days later. We weren’t terribly hungry as we had just spent all day at my friend’s bridal shower and was just hoping to get a pizza to go as we thought sharing a pizza was the perfect way to end off the evening. Unfortunately, we had forgotten it was ‘Italian Day on The Drive’ that Sunday, which brought an unusual number of people to the neighbourhood and Via Tevere ended up selling out of their pizza dough. Seeing how it was already 8:30 pm on a Sunday evening and many restaurants close early, I decided to get a take-out order of their Pasta del Giorno, which happened to be Penne Arrabiata ($14). Prior to ordering, I had known that this pasta dish would be spicy. I just didn’t realize how spicy this version would be. It ended up being REALLY spicy. In fact it was so spicy that my friend C couldn’t eat it so I ended up with the whole thing to myself. While the pasta was perfectly al dente and had just enough sauce to coat, it wasn’t particularly memorable. On my next visit, I think I’ll stick with their pizza instead as personally, I think they truly excel at their Neapolitan pies.
Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana
1190 Victoria Drive