416 E. Main Street
Collegeville, PA 19426
A new pizza place in Collegeville recently opened up and I decided to give my old stomping grounds a return trip.
They opened in what I believe was an old catholic elementary school. And if that's not what it was, they had me fooled. If you didn't know, this place is so Italian they even sell fountains. All of my Italian friends LOVE fountains.
They opened with the promise of brick oven pizza, and the freshest ingredients. And they were not lying. The oven is a thing of beauty. Ciro Nuzzolese (owner) is the man in charge of the pizza game, and he puts a whole lot of love and care into each pie.
He's got a seasoned professional resume that started in childhood, working beside his grandfather in Italy at the family's Port Alba Antica Ristorant in Napoli. It's obvious that he had to bring Italy to us with the custom igloo oven, which is a thing of beauty.
The Margherita Del Re features a perfectly charred crust, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and a sweet San Marzano tomato sauce. It is a perfect pizza.
The 800 degree oven is evident in the even blistering of the crust, despite the pie's quite brief trip into the oven (just two minutes according to Ciro). It's due to this quick, high-fire timing that the fresh basil maintains some moisture and doesn't burn away to nothing while it's in there.
Heated with wood, the oven is also hooked up to a gas line, in order to maintain an even temperature throughout every lunch & dinner service. The beautiful char, however, is solely the result of the wood's flame.
The veal parm was a perfectly simple example of one of my favorite comfort foods. Again, the San Marzano sauce shined (tart and sweet at the same time), and the thin tender veal was breaded and fried crispy. Just how it should be.
The lobster ravioli (another comfort go-to for me) was fresh, rich, and satisfying. I could barely fit all of the food in, but somehow I overcame adversity and demolished it. The price is extremely reasonable here, and the food is top notch, It's not fancy, but it's done really well. Also, it's a BYOB, so you can afford to splurge on the food. Highly recommended if you are anywhere near the Collegeville area.
Even if you're not "in the area," I'd say it's worth the trip.