FIFTEEN PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA
(CLOSED. it's an OOH CHA CHA a/o 2018. i loved all the responses to this post)
MRT: Technology Building/Brown Line
hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm
$$ (Cash only)
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted. small park right outside
Visit reviewed: 12/8/2009
I think for this post, I'm going to let the pizzas, I mean the pictures do the talking.
Thanks to reader Gil for giving me the heads up on this tucked away new pizzeria, just opened in October. It's actually on the same alley as my favorite Shan Xi Dao Xiao Mian place, near the Heping and Fuxing intersection.
Why the name Fifteen? Apparently, they are Jamie Oliver fans and the name is a bit of an homage to that (it's the name of his restaurant in London). And if you sit at one of their barstool seats, you'll have a front row seat to some pizza making action just as if you were watching your favorite Food Networks show. Travel and Living show for those of you in Taipei.
Fresh pizza dough gets flattened and topped with selections like prosciutto and arugula, clams and garlic or pesto and mushrooms, and of course mozzarella and parmasan cheese.
After being baked in the stone brick oven, the pizzas come to our table surprisingly quickly.
The space is not large, but has a few window-side tables as well as tables outside which look right out to the adjacent park. It doesn't seem tableready for groups larger than 4, which is too bad because their pizzas are the perfect kind to order a few different kinds to share.
The menu right now only has pizzas and a soup of the day (despite the first page of the menu having appetizers), but there are a range of gourmet toppings you can choose from. From the traditional mozzarella and basil to the more unusual include Pizza Cavolfiore (cauliflower), Pizza Patata (sliced roasted potato) or Pizza Fiorentina (spinach, bacon, eggs) in the NT$300 plus range. The prices on the menu are for the 10 inch, but ordering the 8 inch saves you NT$60/pizza.
We got the Pizza Portobello Mushroom (NT$260 for 8") which chose because it had pizza sauce (only the ones listed with having sauce have sauce, otherwise, they just come with cheese and toppings) which definitely on the light side. But the toppings were fresh and plentiful and the mushrooms retained a juicy flavor.
While we were enjoying our slices, the Pizza Prosciutto di Parma (NT$300 for 8 inch) came. Just say the word prosciutto and I'll drool, not to mention that it also came with the perfect partner, a spicy arugula (which is really hard to find in supermarkets here!)
The pizza was dusted with a tad too much salt as the prosciutto is already cured, but alternating a bite with the springy crust took care of it. The prosciutto was velvety and softened a bit with the heat of the pizza.
My friend and I had intended to just have a bit of each and save the leftovers for other friends, but we ended up eating almost the entirety of the two 8 inch pizzas between us. The crusts are soft and chewy and while the base of pizza is thin, it's not crispy, like you'd find at Alleycats. The pizza reminds me of Primo Trattoria, especially with the Fiorentina being available at both places, but Fifteen seems like a more casual and cozy hangout.
Stuffed and happy, I got a Pizza Genovese to-go, which has pesto sauce, mixed mushrooms and basil. I discovered that to-go pizzas get an additional 20 percent off, which is perfect because it saves you the sit-in 10% service fee and then you save a little extra.
Definitely give Fifteen Pizza a try- it is a bit unusual in that alley of Chinese eateries, and they said business has been so-so after their strong opening. I only wish it was a bit closer to my neighborhood, but it will give me an excuse to wander in that direction.
I got a text today saying they'll have various promos on the 15th of each month, like buy one, get a smaller size free. I did want to give the clam pizza a try...
Don't forget to vote for your favorite restaurants in the BEST OF TAIPEI READERS' CHOICE POLL!! Only a few weeks to go and I need y'all to chip in!