Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Adventure #63: Backspace

This is not our first adventure to Backspace and the absence of that post is really the story of our year off. Life happened and for a while we drifted in our individual emotional oceans. We went to Backspace when we thought we were ready to start back up, but we just weren't there yet. I sat on the post for so long and accidentally deleted the photos and my depression sent me off drifting again. However our pizza passion and friendship brought us through, so it is fitting that now that we are back up and have some momentum that we visit Backspace again.

Bianca - a terrifically photogenic pizza
 The first pizza that we decided on was the bianca. With arugula, mozzarella,
ricotta, and pecorino romano it sounded amazing. Because it was brunch we added an egg to it (if you didn't already know, the heat of a wood-fired oven is just about perfect for cooking an egg in exactly the amount of time it takes to cook the pizza). I start with this pizza (and end with the appetizer) because it was our least favorite. There was way too much arugula on it and, to prevent the yolk from breaking, the pizza was cut into squares, meaning that there was one square in the middle that had only egg on it and none of the rest of the pizza had any. Once we knocked about half of the arugula off though it was everything that we had hoped for. The lemony spicy arugula with the salty mozzarella was perfect and when we stumbled upon a bite of ricotta (under all of the arugula you stumble onto things) it was creamy perfection.

Classic sausage and red peppers combination
 Our second pizza was a classic with fennel sausage, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and garlic. The ingredients all worked in harmony (including the good amount of char on the crust).  I wish I had more to say about this pizza. It was delicious. It is nice to try interesting topping combinations, but it says more for the quality of a pizzeria when they can do a simple pizza well.

the pizza upskirt
First in our meal and definitely the best part of the morning was baked ricotta with lemon poached tomatoes, olive oil, and focaccia bread. This is the kind of dish that makes you close your eyes while you roll it around in your mouth, savoring every flavor. You want to eat slower because it tastes so fantastic. The lemon from the tomatoes infused the ricotta; The focaccia was toasted and had a little sea salt on the crust; and the caramelized top of the ricotta added to the...complexity is the wrong word, but I can't find the right one. Each flavor is distinct and yet works so well with all of the others.

Regarding Backspace as a whole, a wonderful brunch experience has converted me from a skeptic* to a fan. I recommend making reservations and trying it out. The space is cozy, the kitchen is right there for you to watch, and the menu is filled with dishes that play to wonderful combinations of flavors from top-notch ingredients.


*I'm a bit of a contrarian, which means I irrationally dislike things that are popular, though I'm working on just being a nonconformist and liking what I like.

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