World-Class Pizza in Delray? Scuola Vecchia Pizza E Vino
Big news for S Florida pizza lovers! Scuola Vecchia Pizza on Atlantic Ave opens tonight.
I did some digging and this looks very exciting.
The owners have brought down Roberto Caporuscio from Keste Pizza on Bleeker Street in NYC to help open the place. (He was sitting in a staff meeting when I poked my head in this afternoon).
If you’re not familiar with Keste, it appears on many “Best Pizza in NYC” lists. I’ve been there and I agree. http://www.kestepizzeria.com/press.html
As their website says: “It is also the official location in the USA for APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) whose mission is to protect and preserve the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promote the art of pizza making.”
“The organization also certifies professional pizza makers in the tradition of Neapolitan Pizza.”
And I’m guessing that’s what is happening at Scuola Vecchia right now.
More: “The Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (the Association of Neapolitan Pizza) maintains strict member guidelines for ingredients, dough, and cooking. This elite organization maintains that pizza dough must be made only with flour, natural yeast or brewers yeast, salt and water. Dough must be kneaded by hand or mixers which do not cause the dough to overheat, and the dough must be punched down and shaped by hand. Also, only wood-burning, bell-shaped brick ovens are permitted in pizzerias that belong to this organization. The pizza must be cooked on the surface of the oven (often made of volcanic stone), and not in any pan or container, with oven temperatures reaching at least 400-430° C (750-800° F). These ovens often have to heat up for hours before the first pizza is cooked.”
We’ll see very soon how the pizza turns out at Scuola Vecchia.
I’ve raised the bar pretty high here before they are even open – but I have high hopes!
522 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444
South side, between N and S bound Federal Hwy (opposite Colony Hotel
PS: The photo is from Keste - for now that's the best I can do until I get one from here.
I had a chance to check this place out for lunch this week. Certainly not you're hole in wall grab a slice type place.
The interior is a very nice clean look with white marble tables. The menu was pretty straightforward a small selection of apps, some salads, and then the pizzas. Also the staff was very friendly. I especially liked how the owners came over to say hello and make sure everything was ok. This to me is a nice touch especially when you're starting out and trying to get people to come back.
Pizzas range anywhere from $12-$18. Which is a good pie price. Though these are individual pies not a big feed the family pie. So it is expensive. But hell this is Delray, if it's not Bru's Room, is it even worth mentioning whether or not it's expensive. If it's in Delray on the strip it's expensive.
My wife and I ordered two pies. One was a margherita with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. The other had sauasage. They were both good, though I did like the sausage better.
The fresh mozzarella was great on both. However I think the best part was the crust. It had just the right amount of saltiness and tasted really good. Also the pizza here is a little less well done than Anthonys. Which I know will be a plus to some and negative to others.
This place to me is kind of in the same vein as Anthonys or Carolinas. Though Carolinas I felt let their pizza get a little too well done if you know what I mean :-) Sorry for the bad joke I just couldn't help myself.
So if you like those 2 places you should like it here. I'd consider it to be a little better than both.
As for me. I'll be back. Though probably not too often. I've never quite latched on to this type of pizza. I prefer the taste of traditional hole in the wall NY slice joints instead.
I've been here 2 times now and I agree pretty much with everything coffey has to say. As for my opinions...
Minuses, in my mind, are:
* The decor might be a little too "clean and bright", There's lots of white tile and rather bright lights. They might think about subduing things a bit a night, maybe this will also happen over time as they add plants and other soft features.
* Yes the bill can add up pretty quickly. Let's say a couple comes in, orders a salad or delux app, two of the higher-end pizzas, and a couple of drinks. You're looking at about $10 + about $35 + say $10 and with tax you've got a $60 bill. For pizza. And this type of pizza cooks VERY quick. You might have it 5 minutes after you order. So you *could* wind up with a quick meal and $70 with tip.
That said, here are the plusses:
* Even though they called them "personal" size, I think with an app, one pie is *plenty* for two average eaters. When my wife and I ordered two, we ended up taking half of each home! So now you're talking more reasonable, maybe $10 app + $15 pie + $10 drinks = $35. Besides, if you want to be a bit more frugal, there are apps for $6, pies for $9, and have water.
Now you're talking a nice little meal, with some of the finest pizza anywhere, on The Ave, for two, for under $20. So the price is what you make of it!
* The pizza is fantastic. It's not NY slice pie, and it's not deep dish. It's definitely real authentic Neapolitan pizza. If you chat with the mgmt or cooks you will very quickly discover they are the real thing. Don't throw away the crust like you might do elsewhere - it's one of the best parts.
So far I've enjoyed the Margherita ($11), Regina Margherita ($16), and the Ortolana (veggie) ($16). Photos attached.
Next up I think is the Keste (named after the famous pizzeria in NYC) with "imported fresh buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto de Parma, rucola, shaved gran cru, EVO, and basil". Yum. $18 but those are some serious ingredients there!
* Service was fast and friendly. As coffey said, the mgmt came over to check on things. Also even though I was there 1 week apart, the manager (?) recognized me and welcomed me back. Big extra points for this kind of non-cooler-than-thou service on The Ave.
I'll be back. Sounds like a great addition not only to Delray but all of South Florida. Check it out!
Went back here tonight, wife and I had a salad each and shared the Keste pizza. Fantastic, one of the best pizzas we've ever had.
Spent some time chatting with owners Shaun and his mom Sharon. Very nice folks and they'll talk about food all day if you like.
The lighting is now more subdued so the atmosphere was very pleasant, we finished things off with a cappachino and tiramiso which both were out-of-this-world.
I really think we're going to be going here much more often. It's really really good.
And you don't have to take it from me...
WorstPizza recently gave them a review here: http://www.worstpizza.com/2011/07/scu...
and Biil Citara from New Times weighed in here: http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/cle...
"This is the best pizza you are ever going to eat. Spare me the earnest emails about this pizzeria or that pizzeria; one bite of this superlative pie, made in the finest Neapolitan tradition, and you will realize the error of your ways and beat yourself unmercifully."
2120 NE 123rd St, North Miami, FL 33181