On a recent visit to Nottingham, I was recommended Pizzamisu by a friend who said that they serve the best pizzas this far north of Naples. Having been to Naples many times and lived to survive (despite a fellow car driver heading towards me on a roundabout in the opposite direction) it seemed rude not to pay them a visit.
Over the years when holidaying in Italy I must have visited pizzerias from Turin to Taranto, Ventimiglia to Verona. One of the best ones we discovered was when we were driving through a thunderstorm from Sienna to Florence. We left the autostrada for refuge and came across a hilltop village, where the streets were deserted – not surprising really, given the foul weather.
The only sign of life was in a large pizzeria, and on entering we discovered what look liked the whole village dining! From grandparents to youngsters, all ages were to be found, and we were soon part of this local scene. We ate one of the best pizzas we have tasted and, in more ways than one, experienced the real flavour of Italy.
Pizzamisu – the atmosphere of Italy
Tucked away down a small, cobbled lane in the city centre, Pizzamisu was just starting to get busy on my early Sunday evening visit. To reach the seating you walk past the cooking area where the smell of freshly cooked pizza whets your appetite for what is to come.
The restaurant is themed as if you were walking through a street in Naples: a clothesline hangs across the interior, just like the laundry that inhabitants of Naples hang from their balconies across the tight streets of the city. A Napoli football shirt and scarf are draped on the wall and the whitewashed walls add another authentic touch. The only thing missing (thankfully) is a television blaring away with either sport or music as is more than often the case when dining in a pizzeria anywhere in Italy.
Pizzas all the way
The menu offers around ten starters, but as you might expect, the real action starts with the pizzas. Numbered one to twenty-one, Pizzamisu even has the ubiquitous Quattro Formaggi (Four Cheeses) that seems to get lost on most pizza restaurant menus in this country, but then again we are here to discover the real taste of Italy.
I decided on pizza number seven — Salame. The thicker crust pizza is typical of a Napoli pizza. This tempting, tasty and tremendous pizza came with tomato sauce, fior de latte (a kind of mozzarella), nduja, Parmesan, olive oil and buffalo cheese. This delightful combination sent my senses straight back to Naples, I had only to close my eyes and I could have been back there.
The restaurant serves both white and wholemeal pizzas with a wide selection of both vegetarian and meat bases. If you have room left you could always opt for one of their desserts, such as homemade tiramisu. In the event, my pizza had left me completely full, but I’m told that the desserts are as good as the pizzas – another reason why I would return to Pizzamisu when visiting Nottingham.
Apparently the restaurant gets very busy at peak times and a reservation is recommended. Whilst Nottingham might not be Naples, after visiting Pizzamisu and enjoying one of their authentic pizzas you could almost be there – minus the crazy car drivers! Molto bene, as they say in Italy.
Pizzamisu, 9 High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HF