Manifesto: top-notch pizza in Rathmines
Going to Italy for the first time can have two life-changing effects on you: firstly you wonder why you didn't come to Italy earlier in your life and swear over everything that there not one more year in your life will pass without a visit to Italy. Second, your taste for pizza will be irreversibly altered. Because of my Sicilian origins, I come from a family which believes that pizza should be made in a certain way - certainly nothing involving pineapple or any sort of minced meat - but eating it in its cradle was an unbelievable experience. Whether it was in Naples - where the pizza is a thick dough with the best tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil - or in Rome - where it is paper thin and offers a much wider variety of toppings, this is like nothing you have ever tasted before. In both cases, the pizza will cost you between 5 and 8 euros. I call that an incredible foodie experience.
So, as I mentioned, once you have been to Italy, your taste in pizza becomes much more refined. But it doesn't mean that you have to cancel pizza from your life. In recent weeks, I have been lucky enough to try the delicious pizza from The Big Blue Bus in the Bernard Shaw, which is very good value. This place was actually my favourite pizza place in Dublin until our recent dinner in Manifesto. We have been meaning to go to this place, which is basically across the road from our house, but for some reason never found the time/occasion to do so. And unfortunately, they don't offer takeaway.
I booked on a Friday night and we got seated right next to the wood fire oven. Just by looking at them, you can tell that their pizzas mean business. We had a quick look at the rest of the menu, but we were there for the pizza, so we both ordered one. I went for the Mamy, their signature pie which won them the Gold medal award for best pizza in the world in 2006. It's made of all the good stuff: tomato sauce, mozzarella, aubergines, parma ham, parmesan and fresh buffalo mozzarella. He went for the U2, a pizza divided into three tastes/colours reflecting the Irish flag. The green part had spinach and sausage, the white part was quattro formaggi and the red part had cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. This kind of gimmicky dish could turn out totally gross, but we love tasting different flavours so it sounded too intriguing not to try it.
And we were not disappointed. Both pizzas had this amazing puffy, crusty yet nicely chewy dough - like a Neapolitan pizza - and the ingredients used as topping were absolutely scrumptious. Even the U2 turned out beautifully, so well actually that we couldn't really decide which one was our favourite taste of the U2. But the Mamy still won.
These premium pizzas are more expensive than your average Dublin pizza, about 16 euros each, but undoubtedly worth the difference. And when you think about it, it's not much more than the hideous joke of a pizza they sell in Dominos.
Because this carb overload was missing a sweet ending, we went for dessert and ordered a chocolate souffle. Pretty good, but not up to the standard of the pizza unfortunately. It was slightly overcooked and was lacking the expected gooeyness. The espresso, as we hoped, was a really amazing ending to this overall stunning dinner.