Sartoria Panatieri Pizza
With a sense of deja vu, I sit down at the far end of Sartoria Panatieri. The large, light-filled garage-like space is unmistakably reminiscent of Parking Pizza. Particularly the larger second one that opened on Passeig de Sant Joan in 2018.
I feel guilty for the shorthand and shake off the insistent affirmation in my head and try looking again.
There is a marble table with a wooden board on top of it. Touching sides are 5 homemade charcuteries. There is a black round lamp off to the far end, the kind you would expect to find in an old library in Milan.
There it is. That’s the other suggestion my mind profers up. The furniture, the chairs, the light fittings smack of an elegant school room in Milan.
The charcuterie lined up solemnly and minimally on a marble table. As if waiting to be depicted in a chiaroscuro Caravaggio style still life. Though he did prefer fruit.
The branding is consistently applied to most places my eyes fall. “From farm to pizza”, I see it everywhere, and at it’s less than subtle insistence, I choose that route, including a stracciatella burrata (8.50€) and an eggplant parmigiana (9.9€) for variety.
If the interior feels Milanesque, then the pizza is Neapolitan. More sauce than cheese, as is typical. This leads my twelve-year-old to start wisecracking when it arrives. “The problem,” she says while waving a tomato sauce laden wedge of pizza precariously over her white t-shirt “, with these fancy pizza places is that they use expensive cheese.” She tries to distribute the sparsely dotted mozzarella cheese more evenly over her slice. “And it’s so expensive that they can only use a little. They would be better off using cheaper cheese so that there would be more of it.”
I try, ineffectively, to explain that this is exactly how this kind of pizza is supposed to be. That she should consider the dough, which is pleasingly elastic, filled with large bubbles and tasty enough that we use the crusts to scoop up the stracciatella. Being a 12-year-old, she is firmly in the Margarita pizza camp. And to her credit, this is probably the wrong pizza to order at Sartoria Panatieri. Because I realize when my number 8 “Spicy Salami” (13.50€) arrives, the magic at Sartoria Panatieri is concentrated in the nubby silhouettes of the home-cured meats that nestle tightly on that marble-topped table.
The pizza dough is superlative, as is the tomato sauce that is spread on liberally. With a pleasing acidic balance, packing lots of umami. To anyone but the most ardent pizza anoraks, these are nuances. What Sartoria Panatieri has broken the mold with, however, are their home-cured meats.
The table next to me orders a selection. And it arrives folded over itself, thin enough that I am sure I could read the menu through the white fat. I must insist that you do not miss this homemade charcuterie; it is a rare thing of beauty.
That leaves the staff. Even if they are not all Italian (though I will hazard a bet that the majority are), I feel they have an unmistakable Italian air. Is it the swagger? The hair? Italian men have good hair; even when they don’t have good head hair, they have good facial hair. All the staff wear spotless white t-shirts with no splatters on them- not even tiny ones. Which, I think, is a trick only Italian men can manage: deflecting tomato sauce off their white t-shirts with only their minds.
C/ de Provença 33o, Eixample
C/ de L’Encarnació , Gràcia