If you’ve been following me on Twitter lately, you would have noticed the influx of my tweets bitching about how I wanted pizza; and even by that I wouldn’t say it was bitching, more than it was a deep yearning that bordered on obsessive and annoying. Like a 5 month old wants a boob when he or she is hungry; the shrill cry of the animalistic response taking over its little body, screaming and shaking and turning red until the soothing comfort of a mother’s milker touches his or her’s lips… now picture that, but instead of that, picture me slamming the keys on my laptop making sure people know how badly I want pizza… thick crust, thin crust, stuffed crust, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, arugula, anchovies, fucking pineapples, I wanted it all, I.needed.it.all.
I hit up a new spot in Old Montreal, Bevo – bar and pizzeria. M and I made our way through the crowded streets of Old Montreal, past the hoards of zooming DSLRs, sensible shoes and sunburned tourists to this nook right off St. Paul street. Sidewalk packed with tables, the one thing I noticed was that everyone was having pizza. Were these people mocking me? Did they know what I psychotic bitch I’d become recently fiending for pizza, that that’s all they ordered because they knew I was coming? Or had I become delirious in a pizza lust fog that everything I saw was pizza?
We sat down and studied the menu, and decided that to heighten the pizza experience, we needed to lay the foundation and not crowd the stomach with something too filling; so we started with the Salumi plate.
Prosciutto, speck, bresaola, sopressata, capicola topped with arugula sprouts, served with a side of warm baguette, the cured meats were solid; I mean, unless it’s covered in mayo or fruits, how can you go wrong with a big plate of sliced salumi? You can’t.
M ordered the Capriciosa – sausage, mushrooms, hardboiled egg, tomato sauce, mozzarella. The first thing that I thought was… hardboiled egg on pizza? That makes as much sense as mango in a maki roll; preposterous, I declared. Not really, I like weird things – I once sprinkled vanilla ice cream with crunched up bits of BBQ chips, don’t judge me, try it! So she cut me off a slice. The savouriness of the generous topping of sausages went really well with the toothsome bite of the roasted mushrooms. The overt sweetness of the tomato sauce was apparent through the cheese and egg.
I didn’t know what to think about having chopped up eggs on my pizza. I bit into it and the strangest thing happened. The waitress came over and asked how everything was, and before I knew it, she threw her apron into the air, the other servers pushed the tables aside and the manager jumped down from the second floor via swinging from the oversized chandelier in a choreographed dance. They broke out into song about how eggs have been shunned by the other pizza toppings for so many years and was fighting to find its own identity. It all ended in a rousing crescendo where everyone paused, threw their hands into the air and yelled, “EGGS!” No, not really… but eggs on this pizza really stood out – the powderiness of the yolk and that overall taste of egg was the kicker that tied everything together – how I never tried this before, I don’t know.
I ordered the margherita pizza – mozzarella fior di latte, basil, tomato sauce. Sounds simple, but so not. I would totally gauge the competence of a pizza place by the way in which they make a straight up margherita pizza. In this equation of ingredients, the answer isn’t “pizza”. When cheese, basil, tomato sauce and dough is added together, in this context, the answer will be “cheese, basil, tomato sauce and dough.” Confused? Don’t be. A Marghertia pizza is the ideal platform to showcase the restaurant’s fresh ingredients, where you can taste each individual component of the pizza.
In a harmonious composition, you should be able to taste the sweetness of the tomatoes as though freshly picked, the creaminess of the cheese with a hit of aromatic freshly sliced basil, all on a thin, crunchy to the bite with just the right amount of chew on the crust. Ordering this pizza is like ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. Slices of cheese in white bread is simple, but it takes someone who knows what they’re doing to make something that simple, extraordinary. I’m sure Chef Giovani has made a pizza or two in his day.
It’s the small little details and intricacies of the crust that make the BEVO pizza. Being cooked in a wood burning oven will yield little gems like these – the burnt crusty bits that add character to the pizza both aesthetically and in taste. The char is the “umami” of the pizza… the 5th taste, the “je ne sais quoi”, the “something, something”… I’m convinced the dough is laced with sex and lots of it.
After two pizzas, you’d think that we’d be done by now. Pffft – there’s a dessert pizza on the menu. BEVO’s signature nutella pizza is cooked the same way as their savoury pizzas and even on the same dough. Nutella is nutella and you can’t go wrong with that. The dough (AGAIN) is the key. Using the mother dough, the slight saltiness contrasts perfectly with the sweet chocolate-hazelnut spread and being slightly undercooked, the crust impersonates a chewy focaccia, dusted with powdered sugar. When Chef Giovani made the rounds, I make an effort to thank him for not putting bananas or strawberries (like I’ve seen done at other places) on this
dessert pizza. He shared with me his secret… “simple is better”.
Yes, Pizza is good any time of the day, and I think it’s about time you hit up BEVO. A happening spot for the 5 à 7 crowd, people looking for a quick bites found on their awesome antipasti menu, to people on the hunt for one of Montreal’s best pizzas, it goes without saying that this joint is a place on your must try list. What stood out the most was, the crust. YES, the CRUST; from the first bite from the first slice, to the last bite of the last slice, the crust remained the same – NOT SOGGY. This is a testament to the precise execution in properly topping a pizza that doesn’t get drenched in sauce, keeping into consideration, evaporation and dehydration of the moisture in the sauce, to the quality, freshness and combination of toppings. The science of pizza isn’t something that should be taken lightly. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you should try it, your mom told me you’d probably like it.
BEVO Bar + Pizzeria
410 Rue Saint Vincent