Clodagh Manning dissects her experience at Dublin’s newest pizza restaurant, Pi.
Dublin is a saucy, cheesy swamp at present. Artisan pizza joints are popping up at a speed only ever matched by the doughnut shops in 2017 – a period of widespread stodgy dough and gaudy icing. We won’t talk about it.
I have cast an optimistic eye over the newest pizza joints. I’ve brushed the semolina aside and put the gleaming beauty of pizza in sharp focus: carb-filled, fatty and salty – a primal delight. The baby of the bunch, Pi on George St, who have proclaimed themselves as ‘pizza fundamentalists’, have actually managed to live up to that almost-pretentious title.
Having spent weeks monitoring the ever-growing queue, I succumbed to the thirty-minute wait last Friday evening. Bonds sturdier than those of pizza dough’s gluten structure began forming between waiting customers. A mutual hankering for a classic quality margherita brought us together. Hand-holding couples broke their grasp when one of the two splintered to suss out the menu.
The Pi punter is presented with 8 pizza options, ranging from the sophisticated marinara to the verdant vegete; a millennial fantasy involving wood-roasted cauliflower, cashew ricotta and salsa verde. My friend agreed to go halves on a couple of pizzas with me (like all good friends do). A place for two by the window was the first treat of the evening.
“If the broccolini were a twenty-something, she would wear a leopard print co-ord, knee boots and a scarlet beret.”
Our margherita and broccolini arrived looking just as ravishing as we’d imagined, the broccolini being the aesthetic star. Toonsbridge fior di latte blanketed the blistered dough. Tenderstem broccoli topped the cheese, its healthful glow diminished by a naughty smattering of nduja; a Calabrian sausage made from half chilli, half pork fat. Passers-by ogled at our pizzas, with the same jealous eye I gave the crusted delights for weeks.
Without ‘taking time to take a series of photos for Instagram’, by which I mean ‘waiting a single second’, I sank my teeth into the pillowy crust, putting back any toppings that had slid onto the matte black plate. If the broccolini were a twenty-something, she would wear a leopard print co-ord, knee boots and a scarlet beret. Her grano padano would give her sharpness and sophistication, her fior di latte, her compassion and her nduja, sass. She would be the coolest kid in the Newman building. Pi manages to respect the integrity of the traditional Neapolitan pizza while imparting on it a little 2018 flare and all for €26.50. Quite a delight for a pizza gourmand.