On the menu of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, the pizzas are listed by the type of oven in which they’re cooked.
Some go in a 900 degree wood-fired oven to make Napoletana style.
Others go in a 1,000-degree coal-fired oven, a gas oven at varying temperatures or a different wood-fired oven to make California style.
Tony’s has eight different pizza ovens, according to general manager Erin Christy.
Is it a gimmick? Nope. It’s some of the most interesting pizza we’ve ever had. But not just interesting. A number of us in this group of 32 believe that the pizza we had Thursday night, Feb. 7, was some of the best we’ve ever had.
That’s saying something. We’ve got guys in this group who make pizza for a living.
Tony’s makes 73 margherita pizzas a day following following the historic methods of southern Italy. The flour, tomatoes, sea salt, fior di latte, basil and extra virgin olive oil are put in the 900-degree wood-fired oven. The result was magical. Venturi makes some great pizza, but this one was laced perfectly with basil.
Other pizzas that hit our tables include:
• The Barcelona, mozzarella, smoked paprika, chorizo tomato sauce, jamon, manchego cheese, nora peppers and scrambled farm egg cooked in the 900-degree wood oven.
• Quail Egg, White Rose Potato and Guanciale: mozzarella, white rose potatoes, calabrese peppers, chorizo, quail eggs, guanciale, Cowgirl Creamery from age blanc and lavender sea salt cooked in the 900-degree wood oven.
• Picante: mozzarella, garlic, pepperoni, linguica, calabrese peppers, serrano & banana peppers, chorizo, green onions, cholula cooked in a 500-degree gas oven.
• New Yorker: mozzarella, hand-crushed tomato sauce, natural casing pepperoni, sliced Italian fennel sausage, ricotta, chopped garlic and oregano cooked in a 1,000 coal-fired oven.
These pizzas were incredible. I think my favorite was the quail egg pizza which was so well-balanced and yet luxurious. Bu the New Yorker was bursting with flavor. The Picante was hot, but not just hot for the sake of hot. The ingredients that added heat were all there to add flavor too. And the margherita was the best version of that pizza I’ve ever had.
This little 95-seat bar and restaurant in the North Beach neighborhood accommodated our group, which was no small feat. Christy said with a smile, “Another day in the office.” But this wasn’t a normal day in the office for us. It was an amazing adventure.
Eric Corbin, a world-champion dough twirler, gave a short demonstration of his skills to our group as servers skittered past him with pizzas or drinks. It was very cool and just part of business at Tony’s. The video of the event isn’t on YouTube yet, so here’s another that shows what he can do.
Here’s our tour group at the Golden Gate Bridge: