Da Capo Cafe:
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, still itching to find the best pizza in town. I’d heard 2 recommendations echoed- One, Fomoso’s, I’ve reviewed earlier. The other Neapolitan style pizza in town is found across from Sugarbowl and Highlevel Diner.
Here we go: Decor seems to be picked straight out of an Ikea catalogue, down to the tiles on the wall. Not really a bad thing. Clean, nice concept. However a common, but unvoiced complaint, is the layout of the restaurant lacks flow- if the restaurant is even half full, you’ll have to navigate a maze of people, chairs, and barstools.
Nice selection of beers, still on medication so have to forgo specific libations. No restriction on caffeine though. I went with the standard double americano, as is my usual test for coffee houses. Not bad, bold, certainly the perfect accompaniment to a icky day outside.
Nina ordered a latte… Which came in a tumbler? Can anyone explain this? The latte, apparently, was ok. But wasn’t hot for very long. Still defies logic why this was preferred over ceramic.
Order up: Nice selection of items on their menus, good variety in appetizers and pizza toppings. I opted for the goat cheese stuffed dates and roasted almond with balsamic vinaigrette reduction (~$7). Should have opted for the proscuitto wrapped variety:
Nina went for a little lighter fare: Prosciutto Crudo Di Parma e Mozzarella ($8), which was simple in preparation. Nice flavor, well aged proscuitto, but would have appreciated a little olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, or balsamic, none of which were offerred.
I was starved. So I ate the whole pizza. Almost. Pizza Di Rocco: ($14)tomato, mozzarella, house made spicy Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, fresh rosemary. The last slice:
Certainly like the crust better than Fomoso’s, at least it isn’t soggy in the middle. Decent pie, I’d say. Underwhelmed by the toppings, slightly too acidic sauce, but nice herbal flavors, especially with the fresh rosemary.
Too early to tell, as I’ve only eaten at both places once now, but I prefer Fomoso’s for their enthusiastic customer service, and overall experience. The service here was surprisingly slow for being fully staffed and not at customer capacity: My friend Pierre waited 30 minutes to get the same thing Nina ordered. They actually forgot his order, unapologetically.
Somewhat lacking attention to detail,potential problems parking, serving lattes in glass (???, unless that is some italian tradition that I’m not aware of). Nice location, as it’s quite walkable from the university (109th St). If you are craving a great cup of coffee, skip this place and go 2 blocks South to Transcend (review coming). Don’t come here (Da Capo) if you’re in a rush, but at least give this place a try. And as always, when you do, please drop me a line.
Overall grade: B-