Monday, 14 April 2014

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria Waterloo

15 King Street South
Waterloo, ON


In her opinion:
We had been invited to the VIP opening night at Famoso Waterloo back in February, but unfortunately, a sick child had prevented us from attending. Their PR rep had been kind enough to invite us to our own VIP night when Ethan was feeling better. That was followed up by an email from Patrick O'Shaughnessy, the general manager at Famoso Pizzeria Waterloo personally inviting Edgar and I to visit the Uptown Waterloo restaurant.

We finally got the chance to visit this past Sunday. So on a gorgeous spring day in April we took the drive to Uptown Waterloo. Famoso is happening. When were arrived we were greeted by crowds of waiting guests and also by a lovely hostess that knew we were coming and told us our table would be ready in 15 minutes.

Exactly 15 minutes later we were shown to Table 2 where a note from Patrick awaited us welcoming us to Famoso Pizzeria. Our waitress then came over and explained the ordering process to us...basically the concept is that you peruse the menu, pick what you want, write it down and then bring it up the counter where a lovely barista will take your's up to you if you want to pay then or after your meal is done. The waitress will then deliver your meal.

We picked our drinks...Famoso serves Pepsi so Edgar was happy and I settled for a San Pellegrino Limonata. 

We then decided that we would start with the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls. These are described on the menu as "Fior-di-latte wrapped with prosciutto (Italian dry-cured ham), baked in Campania tomato sauce, fresh basil and pecorino romano". All served with flatbread.

These were really really good. The cheese was gooey and soft and the prosciutto provided the right amount of saltiness to the dish. But the star of the dish was the Campania tomato sauce...fresh tasting and oh so unbelievably delectable. The flatbread was garlicky and delish!

We decided to order two pizzas to share. The first was a white pizza...the Quattro Formaggi - it consisted of fior-di latte, smoked mozzarella, Gorgonzola and pecorino romano served with a lemon wedge.  Our second pizza was the Capricciosa - it was a traditional red pizza with Italian ham, roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, extra virgin olive oil and pecorino romano. 

I enjoyed both pizza's very much. The crust on both was thin and nicely baked with the right amount of crisp. The Quattro Formaggi was flavourful and gorgeous. The four cheeses worked wonderfully together. I really liked the Capricciosa...the saltiness of the olives and pecorino romano cheese worked beautiful with the sweetness of the ham and artichoke hearts. It was my favourite of the two.

Even though we packed a few slices to take home...we found room for dessert and decided to share Dolce and Banana (this is a cute take on the designers Dolce and Gabbana). This dessert consisted of "oven-roasted bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar, crushed pecans, caramel sauce and vanilla bean gelato".

As I had tweeted, "the smell was intoxicating and the taste was heaven". I love a good banana caramel dessert and this did not disappoint!

Overall, our dinner at Famoso Waterloo was great. Patrick had stop by a couple of times to make sure everything was good and from the appetizer to the pizza to the dessert it was all perfect. The staff is attentive and food was delicious. It's a great spot for delicious Italian style cuisine. Make the trip to Uptown Waterloo!

What we ate:

In his opinion:
How do you open an Italian Eatery that serves variations of Italian food, serves family style pizza and feels modern and inviting without making it cheesy like East Side Mario's? It's a tall order and most of the time a recipe for disaster but there is a right way to do this what Famoso has accomplished?

Famoso is a new Italian eatery in uptown Waterloo where a gigantic brick oven sets the stage for a quasi Italian experience. The feel and decorations are bright, modern and inviting and at the time we visited it, it was bustling with patrons eager to try their food.

The menu as expected is quite extensive, with all of the usual suspected dishes you would find in an Italian eatery. You write the order on a paper pad, take it to the order counter and then they deliver it to your table.

We started with the "Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls in tomato sauce". This place is all about the region of Campania so you know that the tomato sauce was going to be great. Take mozzarella balls, wrap them in prosciutto, throw in some fresh basil and top it off with picorino romano cheese and...forget-abou-it, it's a slam dunk. It was so flavourful that for me, the flat bread that came with it did little to enhance it.

For "mains" we shared 2 pizzas, a "Quattro Formaggi" (four cheese) and a Capricciosa which consists of Italian ham, roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pecorino romano cheese. At the restaurant, I enjoyed the Quattro Formaggi better as this is one of my favourite pizzas and the one served was excellent, but as we brought home the leftovers of the 2 pizzas (watch out they are big enough to share) I must admit that the next day, the Capricciosa tasted better, which to me is the true sign of a great pizza.

To finish off, we split a dessert that brought me back to my childhood in Europe, well minus the caramel sauce that is. It's amusingly called Dolce and Banana and like the name suggests it's bananas roasted in the oven in caramelized brown sugar topped with crushed pecans, caramel sauce and a huge scoop of vanilla bean gelato. Like a good foodie I had not room to finish the pizza but always make room for was delectable and also a great way to finish the meal.

The Good: Inviting atmosphere, friendly service and great pizza. The options are plentiful and they deliver on the promise.
The Bad: Waiting times can get long.
The Verdict: Overall, they accomplish the task of not being "cheesy" with flying colours. The experience goes way beyond the "little Italy" attempts of others and even though you at no point feel like you are in Italy, you can close your eyes and let the food transport you to the region of Campania.
Buon Appetito a tutti...

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria (Waterloo) Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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