I had a bit of a mixed time with pizza in New York. While I enjoyed the concept of the late night slice as a walking home treat, I didn’t find the double heated, often shard crisp bases that were the dominant style particularly palatable. I mean this wasn’t Argentinian pizza levels of badness, more in the realm of just not quite my bag.
If this trip has taught me one thing, it’s that the classic Neapolitan style is the one I favour far above all others. So it was with considerable delight that I spotted the Vera Pizza designation behind the counter in a little place I stumbled upon in Richmond called Pupatella. It was just near some excellent badcattery sculpture, pictured below.
A neapolitan term of endearment – little doll, apparently – Pupatella is a pretty conventional pizza shop set-up with traditional wood-fired oven behind a counter. Seats are a mix of low and high benches, with a middling split of sit-in and takeaway customers.
I kept things very classic with a magherita. This was cooked in no time at all in their scorching hot oven. It arrived looking much as expected with nicely puffed crust.
It proved excellent eating. The San Marzano tomatoes in the red sauce topping were superb and the buffalo mozzarella gave good creamy balance. I would have liked the base with just five or ten seconds more firing to give it a few more burnt blisters, but this was a minor quibble with what was an excellent pie.
Overall, it was an unexpected pleasure to bump into Pupatella. It served me a very high quality pizza, probably the best one I’ve had since Pomodoro in Wellington. Make sure to visit when you’re next in Richmond.
Blythe scores Pupatella
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: margherita
I drank: water
I wore: brown jacket
Total bill: $13
Address: 1 North Morris Street, Richmond VA 23220