We visited “Artichoke” for brunch today and were seriously bowled over by their recently-launched pizzas.
I am a fan of Neapolitan-style pizzas (go watch David Chang’s “Ugly Delicious” on Netflix if you wanna learn more about them) and Chef-owner Bjorn Shen has done a lot of R&D to come up with a version he is happy with.
Measuring between 9 and 11 inches across, it is made with dough that has undergone slow fermentation for 96 hours. As with the classic, it is then baked at 500 degrees for less than 90 seconds to achieve that addictive smoky chewiness. By the way, don’t worry about the random black spots - they are the charred marks of a properly done Neapolitan style pizza and they actually contribute to the overall deliciousness.
Instead of simply smothering the base with cheese and typical toppings, trust Bjorn to get creative in this department. And judging from the three types of pizzas we ate, it’s definitely not a case of concept superseding taste. We found them ranging from good to fantastic with the “fantastic” title going to the “Chinatown Special” pictured above.
We think it’s ingenious of him to take the signature slab of bacon chop “Artichoke” is famous for, cut it into chunks, marinate those with a kickass Sichuan/Szechuan seasoning before throwing them on the base with eggplant, mozzarella, parmesan. A good shake of sesame seeds completes this ensemble.