Photo Erica Berman
Many people come to Paris craving traditional French cuisine: boeuf bourgignon, croque monsieur, omelettes at lunch… the list goes on. And it’s true that the French create amazing dishes. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have a bit of variety. This impulse is what led a group of us to La Pizzetta Più Grande for dinner a couple of weeks ago, which in turn inspired me to try their smaller sister restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, La Pizzetta.
As you might suspect from the names, these restaurants do pizza – and do it well. However, their menus go beyond pizzas, boasting creative appetizers, excellent pasta dishes, main courses of meat and fish, and intriguing desserts. I tried La Pizzetta Più Grande first – literally, the bigger Pizzetta. For a starter I shared a beef carpaccio with arugula and shaved parmesan. The dish was excellent, the serving size surprisingly generous. Already somewhat full, I still had my main course on the way: their pizza Affumicata, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage, and scamorza (a smoked Italian cheese). This dish I liked but didn’t love – I think mainly because I found the scamorza a bit too strong. I did, however, notice a lovely crust; thin and crisp without being crunchy.
My companions had a variety of dishes, the only real disappointment being an overcooked tuna steak. Other than that, there was an perfectly done filet of beef, decadent tagliatelli with black truffles, and, the night’s special, a risotto with calamari and vegetables. Everything looked good, smelled great, and was well presented on simple white flatware.
Satisfied with dinner at the larger outpost, I decided to give La Pizzetta – the smaller original – a try for lunch with a friend the other day. I was not disappointed. This time we enjoyed a vegetable appetizer with melted Taleggio cheese followed by a pizza with coppa, asparagus, and ricotta. At the table next to us, both men were eating a pasta dish I would have loved to try – rigatoni with some sort of cured meat and greens. Sole complaint? The service, which was perfectly friendly but very slow. At the end of the meal, I was disappointed to discover it was late and I did not have time to try one of the tempting desserts I had been eying. Maybe next time!
22, avenue Trudaine, 75009
Métro: Pigalle, Anvers
Open: Daily for lunch from 12.30pm – 2.30pm, Mon – Sat for dinner from 7.30pm (reservations recommended for dinner)
La Pizzetta Più Grande
62, rue Caulancourt, 75018
Open: Daily (reservations recommended)
20, avenue Trudaine, 75009
Another offshoot of La Pizzetta, located right next door. Haven’t tried it yet but hope to one day soon!