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Eat My Words: We review Pizza Da Mario in Stamford

Pizza toppings are a rightful subject for debate.

It is well known that the combination of ham and pineapple can properly cheese off some Italians while the concept of a barbecue base could be considered blasphemy.

But what about combining pasta and pizza? After all they are two iconic dishes Italy is famous for.

We also ordered fries and a side salad to share
We also ordered fries and a side salad to share

When I saw the carbonara pizza on the menu at Pizza Da Mario, based in Sheepmarket, Stamford, I knew I had to try it.

It is described as white base, ricotta, DOP parmesan, fior di latte mozzarella, diced pancetta, free range egg and black pepper. That’s three different types of cheese - what a dream!

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The friendly waiter took our order, which also included a pepperoni and nduja pizza for my partner with garden salad and fries to share. Going for a true Italian experience, an Aperol spritz was my drink of choice for the evening.

The first time I stepped foot inside the tiny restaurant was in November 2021, it was to interview owner Marius Note about his excitement to bring Neapolitan cuisine to the town.

My choice was a carbonara pizza
My choice was a carbonara pizza

The friendly owner had explained it was important for the business to reflect Italian culture with produce directly from the Naples region, a traditional atmosphere and a bespoke pizza oven, brought in from Italy and installed by experts. Due to its traditional high temperature, it allows chefs to cook pizzas in just one minute.

The decor also feels authentic with tiled artwork on tabletops and adorning the open kitchen, and Italian produce stacked on the shelves. Every inch of the space is utilised.

Although the inside of the building is small with only enough room for a handful of tables, at the front is a paved area which offers Parisian-style seating surrounded by plants and flowers. Traditional music playing from outside speakers - likely coupled with the smell of fresh pizza - seems to act like a siren call in the summer months as the tables always seem to be filled with happy customers.

Now onto the food...

My partner was keen to tuck into the dessert - I didn't even get the chance to take a photo
My partner was keen to tuck into the dessert - I didn't even get the chance to take a photo

Less than 20 minutes from ordering, the two impressive pizzas had landed in front of us. It was hard to tell if the table was particularly small or the pizzas particularly big - likely a combination of both.

As I cut into it (yes, I eat pizza with a knife and fork) the orange yolk of the egg oozed, indicating a perfect cooking time.

This was the first white base pizza I have ever had - and I could well be converted. It sounds like it would be rich but actually it was surprisingly light and balanced out the saltiness from the pancetta.

Having visited Rome a few years ago and tried both pizza and carbonara from authentic Italian restaurants, I felt in an appropriate position to make a judgement.

More Eat My Words reviews

Pizza Da Mario’s was miles better than the both of the pizzas I had in Rome - although neither particularly impressed me at the time - and for carbonara lovers, this had similar flavours to the real thing.

This dish is now my Roman Empire. For those unfamiliar with the viral TikTok trend, ‘this is my Roman Empire’ refers to things you think about often and perhaps more than you should.

Despite gobbling up all of the pizza, I still had a little space in my tummy for dessert so we ordered a tiramisu with two spoons.

This isn’t a dish I would usually opt for but after trying it I question why.

It had the perfect balance of coffee and chocolatey flavours and was the perfect way to round up a lovely dinner.

Out of five:

Food: When I think of the best pizza I’ve ever had, this carbonara one now springs to mind. It is clear thought has gone into choosing authentic ingredients. On the whole the menu is simple but well executed. *****

Drink: This Aperol spritz had me wishing for warmer days. The drinks list isn’t extensive but there’s enough choice to keep you happy. ***

Decor: The quirky and unique interior adds to Pizza Da Mario’s charm while the outside is sure to be a proper treat in warmer weather. ****

Staff: Our waiter was very friendly and attentive. Conversations were polite and kept quite short, which was ideal for a date night. ****

Price: Although we had visited the restaurant expecting to pay, when we asked for the bill we were kindly told that our meal was on Marius. Pizzas cost anywhere between £6.90 and £13.50, with the carbonara pizza at the higher end of the range costing £12.50. This is a price I would definitely be happy to pay. Both the side salad and fries were £3.70, and the tiramisu £6.50.


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