It’s always when the communication around a place is so broad, that my expectations get high and I end disappointed.
I do understand that, even if technically cooking is a science (eg. the grilled meat does maillard reaction at a specific temperature etc.), you can’t forget the human factor and the outcome of the dish can’t always be constant.
But when I look at a place I don’t look only at the food: if the service is terrible, it’s ruining my food experience, same thing if the interior design of the place makes you stressful (fastfood layout). I always consider that in my total evaluation.
Though this is not only that, I start feeling I can’t really trust the reviews of the most famous sites from the field. This weekend, while I was heading to Bolzano, I read an article about a Michelin star level burger place there. So I went to try this gourmet burger with bread made based on a Michelin star chef recipe. The bread was so dry, that I was suffocating while chewing, the beef, even if supposed to be medium cooked Angus, was dry as well and with my friend, we almost got sick (terrible digestion process). Besides it always makes me smile seeing a place promoting km0 veggies when the premium beef comes from Aberdeen (the salad comes from grandma garden, but the beef flew over seas from the north of Scotland). If you want to promote social conscious food, why don’t you use premium beef from your own country? I guess romagnola (premium beef from Emilia Romagna region which is not so far from South Tyrol) is less known than Angus (more trendy).
Anyway, that’s not the topic, me expressing my sarcasm around the marketing and the cutie face effect on the promotion of some restaurants, ooops, apologize for that.
I always thought that never been to Gino Sorbillo was a huge gap for my pizza culture. I remember when he opened in Duomo, you have to queue for hours to enter as you could not book a table (napolitan style).
I finally got the opportunity to go there a night. I thought it was a good idea as I was in Duomo area and the night in this area there is not that much nice restaurant place.
So I brought one of my French friend, just arrived in Milan, telling him it was supposed to be one of the best pizza in town.
We entered the restaurant and I immediately feel in a fast food for tourists: the choice of the furniture, the layout, the army of waiters with Italian flag on their uniform, the chaos ruling at the cashdesk.
We were led to a table and started to read the tablemat-menu. I don’t know if it’s because it was 10pm and I was tired, but I never saw a menu so difficult to read. I had to read the description of the pizza at least 4 times as I could not focus. The waiter was keep coming back saying "have you made a choice"? She was a bit pushy and we felt pressured. My friend even to make fun at me said “oh you can write in your blog that she’s really stressful” and I laughed.
Basically the menu is about promoting traditional products, slow food products. The only thing is that if you give me the name of a small city in the countryside, I have no idea what is the product associated. I’m glad to know that the flour is organic, that thanks to Gino partnership with slowfood presidios, some local producers can be known and continue making their products, but education is about being user friendly, otherwise you can’t remind the names. If you want to make people conscious about this problematic, it’s not only about providing tasty ingredients, it’s about telling them a story and explaining them why it is important to promote traditions.
My conclusion was that if you go there, don’t expect to find a standard pizza to eat, even if, at the end, most of them were looking like margherita to me. There was even a Massimo Bottura pizza, can you believe it? It’s like when Sadler does Panini for panino giusto, most of the time I start dreaming about something incredible or surprisingly unusual, and the outcome is just normal.
Anyway, we finally ordered two pizzas with nastro azurro draft beers (choice of beers limited).
When the pizza arrived, they were huge, I felt almost in Da Willys, the pizzeria that makes the biggest pizza I have ever seen (exception of the place making meters of pizza to share with friends).
Of course, I had made the mistake on the pomodoro, because it was not sauce but fresh (pomodoro does not mean pomodorini but does not mean sauce either apparently).
So, how was it ? The pizza was good. But does it deserves to be promote as the best pizzeria of Milan ? I have serious doubt.
The crust consitence was a bit chewy, I was tearing pieces of it, it was like eating a giant cheese nan.
Apart the food, I would say I've been definitely disappointed by the place: service not nice, fast food style layout, too bright lights, toilets dirty (feeling at mc donalds).
Did I came the wrong day ? Well the furniture layout and the light, won’t change another day and probably the cold staff either ( I heard other friends making similar comments about the staff, maybe they're sick of tourists…).
What is my conclusion ?
I’m still a huge fan of La Taverna in Via Anzani and neither piccola ischia or gino sorbillo so far made me changed my mind about what could the best Milanese napolitan pizza.
I think I should go to Naples to really understand what is a napolitan pizza in the mind of someone from Campania… and then go exploring all the pizzerias of Milan starting with Lievità, Pizza Am and Pizza Society, to see which one is the closest. Cause as my friends from Napoli would say, you can't find napolitan pizza in Milan. it's a bit like when my Friend from Genoa, was saying the foccacia genovese is unique cause the minerals of the water have an effect on the dough rising...
P.S I read a book about brain behavior, apparently we’re always more severe in our judgement, when we have positive expectation for something. So better less marketing promotion and more humility if you want me to be less critics :-)