This Ain’t Your Typical American Pizzeria

Acqua e Farina brings truly “autentico” Neapolitan-style pizza to Newtown. Their pies are served from the bona fide, Naples-built brick oven, the kind you would find in Italy—transforming 12-inch pies with a crispy crust surrounding a hot, molten center with milky buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce and mouth-watering toppings.

The name of the eatery literally means water and flour, the two ingredients used in the making of the authentic pies. And just about everything inside the sit down and take out eatery on the Richboro Road is from Italy, from the decorative oven that cooks the pies in three minutes at temperatures hovering around 700 degrees, to the ingredients used to make the delectable pies.

They also have bar seating (it’s a BYO) at the counter with a view of the Italian brick oven.

Acqua e Farina is owned by Pasquale and Anna Palino, who have already built a reputation in Newtown for authentic Italian cooking at their popular Vecchia Osteria, one of our local faves, a restaurant located just down the street. You can bet, it is an experience. There’s nothing pre-made here, it’s all made to order.

So when the three kids were in town for the holiday season, we decided it would be easiest to go out for pizza because we had cooked all day and would be cooking the following day on Christmas Eve. Russ happened to remember Veccia’s newish pizzeria and suggested we go there to check it out.

Since it was a Saturday night, I thought reservations would be in order. But when I called the hostess informed me they only take reservations for parties of 10 or more. Since our group was only half that size, I was a little disappointed. She must have heard the concern in my voice because she mentioned if I called just as we left the house, she’d put our name on the list. When we got there, sure enough they had a large corner table ready.

David, Lynn, Russ, Julia and Daniel enjoy some wine while waiting for the food.

According to famed chef-author Lidia Bastianich, pizza in Naples should have a puffy, almost blistered rim or cornice, and a very thin center. The puffy cornice should be well roasted and have the taste of the wood oven. The mozzarella should be made from water-buffalo milk and should be in distinctive pieces (not one big oozing, stringy mess.) The tomato should be the uncooked pulp of San Marzano tomatoes, passed through a mill, and not too much of it on the pizza. A few pieces of fresh basil scattered on top and that’s it.

Well, this wasn’t just “a-couple-of-pies” kinda night. The large chalkboard behind us was touting some tempting appetizers so we had to order their Stuffed Meatballs and Gnocchi, which the gang mostly polished off before I remembered to take a couple of pics, but just goes to show you how good they were!

While devouring those, we ordered a pie-per-person (no, we did not finish them all!) All arrived but Dan’s, and when he inquired about his, the waitress told him they forgot to include it in the order, but it was just tossed in the oven. Had he known, we would have just told them to forget it because we had more than enough food. Then, as a consolation, they gave Dan a large order of their marinara-topped bread squares to go—like we needed that!

One of the pies, the Quattro Formaggio, was no longer on the menu but since Russ had been given an older menu, they decided to honor it. I never understand why restaurants give you bread as an appetizer when you’re ordering a bunch of carb-loaded food?! Anyway, Dan got about a dozen more of these focaccia squares, above, on the house…

In no particular order, here are the pizzas:

Fresh Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella With Olive Oil & Basil

Contadina: Fresh Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Kalamata Olives, Eggplant, Zucchini & Mushrooms With Oil & Basil

Grape Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, Arugula, Prosciutto Topped Shaved Parmigiano

Mushrooms, Buffola Mozzarella & Sausage With Oil & Basil

Quattro Formaggio: (Four Cheeses), Mozzarella, Ricotta, Gorgonzola, Parmesan & Basil

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