Damn fine pizzas – just hold the banana!
Since opening 32 years ago, Pretoria-based Caraffa Restaurant has become a very well established and hugely popular Italian restaurant in the capital.
This, says owners Enrico Andrione and Michaela Paoletich, is not only due to its great food but also its accurate, unique and true embodiment of the quintessential family restaurant.
Says Andrione: “After spending some time here, you will soon realise that it is not just another Italian restaurant, but that it houses an authentic, rich atmosphere, crafted with care, love and devotion by the whole team.
“We pride ourselves in using only top-quality ingredients for all our dishes and our meat is strictly free range. Our signature dish is the Costata Fiorentina, a 500g T-bone roasted in the flames of the pizza oven and dressed with olive oil, black pepper and a perfect amount of garlic. Our pasta is meticulously home-made by Mama, which ensures that our gnocchi and lasagne are profusely praised to almost blush-evoking lengths.”
And if last year’s Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge is anything to go by, their pizzas are damn fine too. Caraffa was voted amongst the Top 10 best pizzas in the country as voted by consumers and the eatery is determined to not only make the Top 10 again this year but get to the number one spot.
We asked Andrione and Paoletich about their pizzas, their hopes for this year’s competition and that age-old question – what doesn’t belong on a pizza?
How did it feel being named one of the Top 10 pizza makers in South Africa last year?
It felt amazing that our diners were willing to vote for us and put our name forward as making their favourite pizzas. The Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge is such a fun and motivating way to give diners a way to communicate their support and of course the prizes we got were great too.
What makes your pizzas so special?
Tradition, experience, passion, consistency and the best ingredients.
What is your signature pizza or best-seller?
Our Pizza Alla Calebrese which has ham, bacon, salami, onion, green pepper and chilli.
What is your definition of a good pizza?
Thin, crispy base with the right balance of cheese and ingredients not in excess just highlighting each ingredient’s flavour whilst all working together.
Would you say South Africa has some of the best pizza you have ever tried?
Yes, without a doubt.
What’s better, a thin crust or a thick crust?
Your favourite toppings on a pizza are?
Salami and bacon.
Is there anything that should never be a pizza topping?
What wine varietal do you drink when eating a pizza?
A shiraz or a Rhone-style blend.
The Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge runs from July 1 through September 30, 2022, with the Top 10 and Winner being announced in mid-October. The challenge is open to any restaurant offering pizza on their menu and holding a valid liquor license.
Consumers dining at participating restaurants will notice point-of-sale containing a QR code that prompts them to the voting platform. For more information and to vote via the website, please visit: www.votepizza.wine
Each week, a lucky voter will be drawn to win wine from Porcupine Ridge and an EarthFire Pizza Stone & Cutter. A grand prize winner drawn at the end of the challenge will receive wine from Porcupine Ridge, an EarthFire Pizza Oven as well as pizza to the value of R2,000 from their favourite pizzeria.
For more on Porcupine Ridge, please visit: www.boekenhoutskloof.co.za/porcupine-ridge
Caraffa Restaurant is at 46 Selati Street, Alphen Park, Pretoria. Tel: 012 346 3181