CITY EDITIONS   

Varasano’s Pizza

January 21, 2009

I’ve been living in Atlanta for the past three years, and though I was very skeptical upon arrival, I have become pleasantly surprised with the culinary scene here… especially over the past year as I have gotten to know the city so much better. Despite finding a variety of quality restaurants, cafes and random lunch spots… one of the most glaring epicurean oversights remaining is pizza.

I must put this statement in context, as I am a bit of a pizza snob. Having grown up in New Haven (pizza mecca, if you were not aware) and lived in New York City… I have a certain idea of what pizza should taste like, and I have been thoroughly disappointed since my move to this soft-crusted, bland-cheese city..

And then there was light… and then there was Jeff Varasano. I first heard about Jeff in the dining section of the NYTimes.. This man is the ultimate pizza geek (honed while at Yale and years in New York)… a passion after my own heart. Jeff has been conducting ‘pizza tastings’ in his home for the past few years and will (this month) be opening his own pizza cafe in Atlanta: Varasano’s. He has actually gone through the trouble of ‘rigging’ his conventional home oven to be able to shut tight in cleaning mode (raising the temperature to almost 800-degrees). His method is spectacular and his devotion to quality ingredients even more profound… with fresh, piping hot pizzas emerging from his contraption in under two minutes!!

My friend and I were recently lucky enough to experience the final ‘pizza tasting’ before Jeff closed up his home shop for good to open his restaurant. Gracing our plates at this BYOB event were creations as simple as a Margherita pie (fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil) to as complex as a Dolce pie (dates, fontina, walnuts & honey). I am overwhelming impressed with Jeff’s creations and am still salivating as I await the opening of his new place… Pizza in Atlanta, what’s next… snow??!!

-Bryan

6 Comments on “Varasano’s Pizza”

  1. PissAnt Says:

    Seems like a pipe dream with all the hoopla amounting to nothing but delays… and more talk from d-bags that act like this guy is the pizza messiah. Maybe he needs to join up with big “B” in DC. Typical ATL clowns.

  2. wood Says:

    3/25/09 STILL NOT OPEN… JUST A BUNCH OF BUCKHEAD SNOBS GOING GAGA FOR SOMETHING THAT IS NORMAL IN THE NORTH.

  3. Bryan Leblang Says:

    Hi ‘wood’,
    Good pizza is certainly something that is normal up North (and something I have missed thoroughly), though I will say that Varasano’s pizza is absolutely the best pie I’ve tasted South of the Mason-Dixon! The restaurant is actually opening today (3/25/09)… Worth a try!

  4. Mark B Says:

    Finally great pizza in Atl. Who cares how long they have had it some where else!!!! It has finally arrived here. Went last night and enjoyed the caprese salad and Nana’s Pie(pizza) & pizza margherita. Wine list is also pleasing with many choices in a tiered selection. Great fun atmosphere….even has Rubiks Cube for the kids.

  5. dissapointed Says:

    I visted varasano’s recently after reading all the rave reviews and buying into the hype. i even read through his list of favorite pizzaria’s around the world where i saw Fritti (my favorite) listed as one of the worst he’s eve had- hearing this i had to see what this guy had going on. After visting his restaurant and having Nana’s and the Margharita, I have to say he is nowhere in the same ballpark as Fritti. Varasano’s restaurant is a dissapointment to all the hype and acclaim.

  6. Pizza guide Says:

    I’m amazed with your experience really.But on the other way around happy too.Finally u got your kind of Pizza in Atlanta.Hahaha.Cool stuff shared over here.

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