Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Aug 22, 2011 03:42 PM

Hot pies in the city at Farina, Vancouver

Ventured down to check out one of the newer entries in Vancouver's 2011 pizza derby. This is a gritty corner, so bless JC Poirier and co's endeavours. We tried three pies, the margherita ($12), the calabrese ($14) and the finocchiona ($14).

Apparently the sauce is made with fresh tomatoes which might account for the pleasing lack of sweetness (to me at least). I thought the margherita was the superior pie of the three in both dough and toppings. The soppressatta and the fennel sausage were flavourless to me; though both my dining companions detected some fennel in the latter, I did not. I also thought the nicoise, one of my two favourite olives, could have had more oomph.

The room is simple but well appointed, and will be much more comfortable if the front window is replaced with one that opens out as rumoured. It was a leetle hot in there yesterday :-).

Three pies for three people was a lot of pizza, at least on a hot day. We had one quarter left over of the finocchiona, which was inexplicably cut in four pieces whereas the first two were in six.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The crust was interesting - very light and crisp. The pies here are in the top tier for sure. Interesting tidbit about the fresh tomato sauce. I'm wondering how they will attempt to do that in the middle of winter. I did taste the fennel in the sausage - but like most fresh sausage pizza topping, I found it lacking in salt. Overall a good addition to the city's suddenly erupting pizza scene.

    1. Great pics, GE. And dang good lookin' pies too. Dare I ask how you'd compare them to Verace, Nicli and Bibo ?

      7 Replies
      1. re: LotusRapper

        (Have yet to go to Bibo - so I'll await grayelf on that feedback). I would say that Farina ranks up there with Nicli -- but noting that Nicli is more like a true Neapolitan (hotter, wood fired oven, blistered crust, etc) and Farina more of a hybrid style (deck oven, not as hot, crust is more tanned than charred, etc). Different styles.

        Verace was not good at all the time we all went. Very pale top, charred bottom. The toppings were decent, but the cooking was poorly done (see pic)...perhaps due to inexperience from the young pizziaolo. They also claim to be attempting a Neapolitan crust....but their gas oven was visibly set to 700F with the actual temp registering around 680F...far less than the ~900F required for a true Neapolitan crust. Perhaps a one off? I have seen pics of their pies on other blogs and they all had that same look - very pale tops.

        1. re: fmed

          And I've yet to go to Nicli after one abortive attempt that was foiled by a big lineup shortly after opening and way too much attitude at the door ;-). The Bibo was a fail for me, completely soggy to the point of tasting raw dough on two lackluster pies back in the spring, no desire to return. Agree with fmed's comments, and also add that Verace felt very spendy to me, FWIW, and I am not a fan of the decor. I much prefer the feel of the room at Farina, again FWIW. The pix turned out rather well because we sat in the window, so had some nice natural backlight. No beer here which is too bad but fmed did have a rather nice looking "gourmet" soda, Fentiman's I think. And they have two taps of good ol' Vancouver H20 that you can fill your glasses with at will, which is another nice touch.

          1. re: fmed

            I went to Verace once and it was comparable to Nicli...except I thought the sauce was fresher and tastier. But then I'm starting to think that Neapolitan style pizza isn't for me. It lacks that crispness that I like about kick ass pizza (eg. Apizza Scholls in Portland).

            My Verace diavola pizza attached...

            1. re: flowbee

              The tops of your pie has colour at least. We had four pies that evening and they were all quite pale (like the Marg I posted above). Yeah - agreed with Apizza Scholls. That's a target to shoot for.

              1. re: flowbee

                Ditto for me on the Neopolitan style, I just haven't had one yet that wowed me, even in Naples. REALLY need a Pdx trip.

                1. re: flowbee

                  I went to Farina as well, very early into their opening and so didn't feel right about posting anything about it. I agree on the sauce, but the crust I had was crispy verging on cutting my gums, so I'm glad to hear they've corrected it.

                  I suppose instead of comparing it to Nicli, Bibo or Verace, the better comparison would be to Campagnolo across the street, as I understand (perhaps incorrectly) that JC was previously working there. I've had a good margherita at C.Roma. Any thoughts on which of the two does a better pie?

                  1020 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A, CA

                  8316 Main St, Osoyoos, BC V0H1V2, CA

                  1. re: clutterer

                    I think the pies at Farina are better than Campa overall. I guess not too surprising.

            2. Finally tried Pizzeria Farina. Loved it. Special today was artichoke and heirloom tomato. Very zesty and tangy! My favourite Vancouver pizza so far. No more neapolitan for me. My shadow will be darkening their doorway often.