Being a Friday night and not in the mood to cook for myself, I went to check out a new pizza place in Kerrisdale.
Bufala Pizzeria occupies the space that was previously home to the Mac Shack on Arbutus Street and west 38th Avenue.
Upon arrival we were seated immediately at one of the communal long tables down the center of the restaurant.
The menu is focused on pizza, with a handful of simple Italian inspired appetizers like gnocchi, bruschetta, etc.
We started with the grissini.
This three bread sticks wrapped in prosciutto, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. The bread stick are crunchy, and the prosciutto is tender and nicely cured. The olive oil was fruity and slightly peppery.
This was followed by the meatball appetizer.
This is three meatballs, covered in fresh crushed tomatoes and ricotta, and dressed with fresh basil leaves, served in a small cast iron skillet. It comes with three crostini that have been baked and brushed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. These are absolutely winner meat balls. They’re tender, nicely seasoned and full of flavor. I picked up some garlic and parmegganio flavors. The tomato sauce was rich and lightly acidic, and topped with creamy ricotta cheese. The crostini was lightly crunchy with a light garlic hit and the added fruitiness of the olive oil. I could imagine coming in and having two or three orders of this for dinner, oh this was good.
This was followed by the Basil and Ricotta pizza.
This is a (approximately) 12″ pizza of hand stretched dough, baked in a fiery gas oven, then topped with ricotta, pesto sauce, pine nuts, and fresh basil leaves, drizzled with more extra virgin olive oil. This is a terrific pizza. It’s a thin crust with a light char underneath, but crisp all the way from the edges, right to the center, with airy and chewy texture under the crackly crust. There’s a bold blend of flavors and textures here, from the herbaceous basil and garlicky pesto, to the smooth creamy ricotta cheese, to the crunch of the toasted pine nuts.
The room is bright, and slightly cramped (at least it feels that way at the long table). The room feels very open.
The service was very pleasant and friendly, and made the little efforts to accommodate. This was their first official opening night, and despite that, the food and service seemed to be firing on all cylinders.
I’ll be back again.
Edit: I understand that Bufala Pizzeria is under the same ownership as the “Wildebeest” restaurant in Gastown. This may explain the polish of the food and service.