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Apr 12, 2006 12:57 PM

Calgary - Pulcinella's now open

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I looked in the window of the old Stromboli's location in Kensington on Sunday afternoon and it appeared things are up and running at Pulcinella's Napoletana pizzeria joint. I then phoned on Monday and confirmed it.

Through the window the renos look pretty darn good, to say it was a complete gut and redo is not doing the job the justice it deserves. I'm also hoping it is non-smoking but with a lounge up front we'll have to see.

I've been to Naples a couple of times and eaten my fair share of real Napoletana pizza, so I'll be judging pretty harshly in that category... but I'm also hoping it's just damn good pizza.

Dropping by tonight after work to sample the wares and will report tomorrow... time permitting.

ever hungry

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  1. Where is this located in Kensignton - what did it replace?

    11 Replies
    1. re: JWh

      As mentioned it replaced Strombolis which was on Kensington Crescent next door to Molly Malone's and across the stree from the Jugo Juice.

      Pulcinella's is excellent... bar none. They have opened with a limited wine and food menu as they ramp up to full service. Right now they have a couple of bottles of red , a few of white and their prosecco. Prices for the wine are not bad at all and the wine list is exclusively Italian. Pizza menu is very robust and in my mind does not require anything additional. The pizzas are fired in their wood burning oven topped with very fresh ingredients. All pizzas come with their stock tomato sauce (very fresh, very good), mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. After these ingredients they have the standards, marinara, margharita, cotto, crudo, quatro fromaggio, etc... I went with the basic margharita to test their metal and it was excellent, crust was light, crisp and chewy the sauce was super fresh tomato and the mozza was not the white rubbery block variety found in most pizza joints but instead fresh and exceptionally tastey.

      For those that find this important as I do... no smoking is permitted in Pulcinella's. Finally an affordable place in Kensington that does not permit smoking, this is a great day for all of us.

      I'm looking forward to sampling new items as the menu expands but I am going to have a soft spot for the pizza for a long time to come.

      I used to think the only napoletana pizza in Calgary was at the Italian Supermarket (Saturdays from 11 - 3pm) but there is a new player in town.

      ever hungry

      1. re: ever hungry

        Great review - im looking forward to trying it.

        Quick question - for those of us who havent managed to get to Naples yet, what are the differences between Napoletana pizza and pizza you would find in Roma and further north?

        1. re: Yen

          I find the biggest difference to be in the freshness of the tomato sauce and mozzarella. Recently I've found that Roman pizzerias are trying to match what's been done in Naples and abide by the "rules" (Verace Pizza Napoletana) laid down by the Italian government for Napoli "branded" pizzerias. I was going to paste these regulations in here but it goes on for a few pages, here's a link to a site that has them listed.

          ever hungry

          1. re: ever hungry

            Thanks for the information. I always appreciate being educated on new things :)

          2. re: Yen

            True Roman pizza is even thinner than Napoli, almost cracker-like.

            Also, they are sparsely dressed. Tomatoes or olive oil & herbs are considered complete toppings.

            Read Peter Reinhardt's "American Pie", easily the best book ever on pizza.

            1. re: lb

              Maybe the best in English, but I seriously doubt that a book called "American Pie" is the best out there on pizza. Americans (well, New Yorkers) think it's a joke to eat pizza with knife and fork, even though it IS proper, because however Americans (again, New Yorkers) do it is the way it is done, Italy be damned.

              Anyway I stopped by here after lunch at Shawarma King so I did not have pizza, but WHAT A SPACE! And I had a very nice espresso (Illy, with a gorgeous Faema espresso machine).

              1. re: John Manzo

                We've removed the off topic digression. Please keep this board focused on chow in Canada. Thanks.

          3. re: ever hungry

            WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. re: ever hungry

              Thanks for the review.

              Another good excuse to come visit C-Town.

              Decent pizza and red wine in Kensington and fine dining in Inglewood at Capo.


              1. re: ever hungry

                Don't waste your time and money, the pizza was terrible.
                The dough was undercooked on one side, and totally burnt on the other, It's far from being crispy, it's messy and gooey. Overpriced for almost non existant ingredients, it just tasted bad.
                Compared to the pizza at Crazyweed in Canmore, this one is a 10, and the one at Pulcinella is a -5.

                1. re: Daphne

                  Too bad you didn't enjoy it, Napoletana isn't about an overabundance of toppings and I'm surprised to hear the crust wasn't cooked for your selection.

                  I've been 3 times now and enjoyed every mouthfull, in fact I'll be back this evening.

                  Crazyweed pizza is good but not of the same regionality as this... a -5 seemed overly harsh :-)

                  ever hungry

            2. I have to agree with Daphne on the dough.
              The ingredients where very nice and fresh and the atmosphere was nice.
              I will try this place again to see if the dough is better. If it's same o same o that will be the last time. maybe like Daphne it was a bad day for the dough men

              2 Replies
              1. re: cdoyon

                not a bad day. I experienced the same thing twice and wrote about it in another thread. Raw and slimey on top, bitter and charred on the bottom.

                1. re: alex8alot

                  I had the same experience with the dough both times I went. Plus the cotto (cooked ham) was like they bought sliced ham at some grocery deli and diced it into little squares. (No, I wasn't expecting proscuitto.)

                  The arancini was great though! I'll go back to try more appetizers, but no thanks on the pizza.

              2. I actually love the dough - the edges and bottom are crisp with just a hint of chewiness which is a nice finish. The center of the pizza is a bit gooey and custardy which matches perfectly with the texture of the tomato sauce and the whole thing together just blends so nicely. I love it!

                Has anyone tried the appetizers? I've had the Fungi Fritti, that was a nice treat - fried mushrooms in this rich cream-gorgonzola sauce. Delicious.

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