July 14, 2012
Graycliff restaurant is known for its five-star fine-dining experience, its award-winning cellar, and for its Humidor Churrascaria that serves up Brazilian Rodizio with a Bahamian flair in a South American steakhouse setting, but now its owners are expanding their repertoire to include Giotto, a pizzeria that will serve authentic Italian pizzas just like you would expect to find in Naples, Italy.
All pizzas are made with authentic "OO" Italian pizza flour, and cooked in 90 seconds at 900 degrees in their organic wood-fired brick oven. There is pizza and there is pizza, but Graycliff says they are serving real pizza, with real ingredients, all of which they say have been imported from Italy.
"I just wanted to have something different, and to bring some kind of Italian culture to Nassau," said Graycliff proprietor Enrico Garzaroli of his pizzeria which is located inside the Humidor Churrascarria.
"I brought in a low fermentation flour from Italy; I brought in anchovies, tuna, everything from Italy so that people can experience real pizza. It is like art. People will get probably the best pizza they can get in town, with a different look altogether."
There is also a variety to be had from the normal toppings for their 12-inch, thin crust pizzas. There signature offerings include a scampi tropical with shrimp; fresh mango; green, yellow and red peppers; Vidalia onions; Italian diced tomatoes and Italian mozzarella. The tonno pizza is a white pizza with seared ahi tuna, onions, artichokes, Italian diced tomatoes, gaeta Italian olives and Italian mozzarella. The meat lover's is topped with certified Angus beef, Italian sausage, Italian dried salamino, Italian mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce.
La Siciliana is of course classic with capers, anchovies, black olives, oregano, red onions, Italian mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce. And the authentic Margarita Napolentana is made with San Marzano tomato sauce, Italian Mozzarella and fresh basil.
The Pizza Americana is topped with pepperoni, Italian mozzarella, mushrooms, pepperoncino and San Marzano tomato sauce. The Pizza prosciutto cotto e crudo is topped with Parma prosciutto crudo and cotto hams, Italian mozzarella, arugula and San Marzano tomato sauce.
For the adventurous eater, there is the pizza patata e porcini with truffle oil, which is a white pizza with sliced potatoes, porcini mushrooms, rosemary, truffles in oil and Italian mozzarella.
And just in case there isn't a signature to suit your taste and you can personalize a pizza with toppings that include mushrooms; green, red or yellow peppers; salami; pepperoni sausage; anchovy fillets; a selection of olives; Vidalia onions; Italian sausage; sliced Wuerstel (a Viennese sausage); arugula; chicken breast; goat cheese and double Italian mozzarella.
And for even more decadent toppings there are lobster chunks, shrimp, Spanish chorizo, Jamon Serrano Spanish ham, Italian Parmacotto ham, Italian Parma reserve prosciutto crudo and buffalo mozzarella.
Giotto's menu also features a calzone classico with prosciutto ham, mushrooms, Italian mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce. Three types of focaccia are also on the menu -- la focaccia Italiana with rosemary, Maldon salt, extra virgin olive oil and Italian mozzarella or pate's of sundried tomatoes and hot Italian pepperoncini and Italian Mozzarella; la bruschetta Italiana with fresh basil, arugula, goat cheese, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil; and la focaccia inglese with fresh hot smoked salmon, capers, red onions, arugula, crème fraiche and brie cheese.
Panini lovers will of course go for the Panini di carne, skirt steak with figs and Italian mozzarella; the Panini de agnello with lamb leg with garlic, caramelized red onions and Italian mozzarella; or the Panini gustos with Italian sausages, roasted red peppers and gorgonzola cheese, and of course there is a Panini
di pollo with chicken breast and spinach with brie cheese, red onions, Italian diced tomatoes and Italian mozzarella.
With all the meat floating around, vegetarians will delight in the Stromboli vegetarian wrap filled with mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, spinach and low fat mozzarella.
And no meal is ever complete without a sweet ending, and a meal at a pizzeria should of course not be left out. Giotto offers pizza dolce dessert with Nutella hazelnut cream and walnuts for the perfect finish.
Prices range from $10 to $24 and Garzaroli said he intentionally made the pizzeria offerings affordable so that people can taste what authentic pizza should taste like. But at the same time he refused to sacrifice quality, as he imported all of his products from Italy.
"I went for quality at a very affordable price. I had to find the right oven (it's so hot and fast, Giotto can turn out six pizzas every 90 seconds), the right flour, the right mozzarella and the right pizza expert. And because there is no fermentation with the flour that we use, the pizza is very light, so at Giotto you can have 20 different slices of pizzas to try them all," said Garzaroli.
The flour that they use at Giotto is virtually gluten free to allow people with gluten allergy to enjoy Giotto's pies as well. The dough rests for 48 hours to 72 hours before it is used.
Chef Ramon Rodriguez who has been making authentic Italian pizzas for more than 20 years said at Giotto he wants to bring something new to the islands which no one else offers.
"Everything is made very thin, so that people can have a taste of everything, unlike traditional pizzas in which they put too much dough and people get just full of bread," he said.
The special oven at Giotto has been treated for 10 days in preparation for the opening of its doors to the public in two weeks.
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