For an informal pre-start of class get-together, the UNISG May 2010 cohort gathered for beers/aperitivo at the bar on the premises of the Slow Food headquarters. In the courtyard, there is a small restaurant named Baladin, with a small bar outdoors that serves wine and a couple beers on tap. On this particular night, the Isaac and Nora beers were available, the former being similar to a Belgian white beer and the latter an “Egyptian” style lager.
Of the 25 people in the class, I met about 17 or 18 of them tonight, and presumably the rest will be present at class tomorrow morning. There are five men, 5-6 Americans, two Italians, a Thai, a Mexican, an Ecuadorean, and some Aussies. As you can imagine, everyone is fairly cosmopolitan and speaks many tongues, but the winner for linguistic diversity might be Luca, an Italian who speaks English with a perfect British accent who studied Chinese in Beijing for several years.
Post beers, we trekked around the corner to Aqua Pazza Pizzeria, which was described by Luca as being a reasonably priced, cheap pizza place. Much to my surprise, the pizzeria was decked out with nice wine racks, track lighting and white tablecloths–Papa John’s this was not. On the other hand, the menu was filled with about 20 types of pizza, all between €5-8. That is definitely cheaper than the American equivalent. Also, I was amused to see some creative naming in the Pizze Baby section.
After scanning the menu carefully, I decided to go with the Basilica, topped with grape tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. The crust was thin but not cracker-like, with enough chew and durability to support the toppings. It was also a pretty hefty serving for one person, unlike some other Neapolitan pizzas I have had, where you walk away hankering for another half a pizza.
Time to go to bed, so I can bike to class bright and early in the morning.