Last summer we went to Italy for my father’s wedding. We spent the night in Napoli, home of the pizza. Walking the streets, it seemed as though every single person was eating, and loving pizza. We were so jealous of those Neapolitans sitting outside, enjoying their evening slices. We looked on the internet and found a restaurant that claimed to serve gluten-free pizza and immediately rushed to get a table. To our dismay, in order to get a GF pie, you had to pre-order 24 hours in advance! This was a Saturday evening, Sunday they were closed, and we were leaving on Monday. We left Napoli not having tried their signature dish. What a shame.
Where I am from, pizza has been bastardized so many different ways, that I could not even tell you what traditional pizza should be like. I feel like most people, outside of New York or Chicago, eat fast-food delivery pizza, which is so far removed from what I saw in Italy. I have eaten gluten-free pizza at restaurants before, and every time the crust has been ok, but nothing exceptional. Usually it has a more rubbery or grainy texture, not that nice dough consistency of the wheat based pies. When I stumbled upon the Il Piccolo Focone restaurant in the Clot neighborhood of Barcelona, I had high hopes. Not only did it have raving reviews on the internet, is run and owned by Italians, but it also advertised a gluten-free week in October to raise awareness of the allergy, so I knew it would cater to our needs. When I saw the menu I was so excited, because they have so many options that are not offered anywhere else in the city. They have ravioli, pasta, gnocchi, pizza, risotto, and even tiramisu among other desserts! Everything is homemade with fresh ingredients and reasonably priced. A pizza will run you 11 euros and is more than enough for one person (although mine was so delicious I ate it all!).
They have interesting toppings like Roquefort cheese, arugula, and tuna, among other traditional toppings. We went with a couple of friends who ordered wheat based pizzas, and like usual, the gluten-free pies took about 5-10 minutes longer. I noticed that pizza in Napoli does not have a super thick crust, and that most people were folding the oozing, cheesy triangles to eat them properly. These pies were hand formed, oven baked, and with a thin crust just like in Italy. Our friends tried a GF slice and actually liked our’s the best. For dessert we tried the Tiramisu.
Il Piccolo Focone
Address: Carrer Dos de Maig, 268 Barcelona
Tel: 93 450 24 52
MON – THU: 1:00 pm – 4:00pm and 8:30 pm – 12:00 am