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Sciantusi celebrate their first anniversary

In a market where restaurants close down as fast as they open up, celebrating any kind of anniversary is special. Sciantusi have not only made it through their first year, they have garnered awards from Gambero Rosso and have a visitor from Associazone Verace Pizza Napolitana. That’s something worth celebrating. AMY MICALLEF DECESARE celebrates with pizza

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as digging into a piping hot slice of pizza, especially after a long hard day at the office, indulging in only a handful of almonds and green tea.Without a single degree of shame or guilt, my guest and I raced into Sciantusi like rabid dogs, desperate for our fix of everything Italian. This time, however, things were a little bit different.Sciantusi were celebrating and boy, did they have heaps to celebrate.

Firstly, they were celebrating their first anniversary, which is no small feat considering there are as many Italian restaurants in Malta as there are beaches and yet, not half as many are as successful. 

Secondly, they were celebrating their Gambero Rosso award, an Italian honour that is held in extremely high esteem and thirdly, they were welcoming a very special guest: none other than Maestro Salvatore De Rinaldi, from the “Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana”, the Neopolitan governing board.

Still with me? Good, because there’s more where that came from. In addition to the honour of even being invited to such an event, we were also presented with four completely revolutionary pizza slices, each paired with their wine soul mate. 

First up, pizza montanara, a classic pizza Napoletana. Living up to the less is more motto, this pizza couldn’t be more Italian if it tried. Featuring the classic mozzarella di Bufala, the sheer authenticity of the products used came through loud and clear.

As we cleansed our palate, with a second glass of wine (how else does one clean their palate, really?), the second pizza of the night made its way to our table. The Domenico Pangallo, named after their head pizzaiolo comes complete with roasted Parma ham, fior di latte mozzarella, white asparagus and caramelised carrots. As I sit here writing this review, I find myself reaching for a tissue to wipe a tear from my cheek, as I realise that I will never in my life taste a slice of pizza as delicious. The sweetness of the carrots contrasted perfectly with the smoky taste of the Parma ham, all of which was complemented by a glass of 2016 Gewürztraminer wine.

Yearning for more, even though we were breaking every diet rule in the book, Sciantusi knew what we were looking for and delivered just that and then some.

The third dish of the night was their very own spin on the sorrentina pizza. Fior di latte mozzarella, an eclectic combination of yellow and red tomatoes and conciato romano cheese, combined with a chilled glass of Rosa dei Masi Rosé. What more could you possibly ask for on a wintery evening, I wonder?

The fourth and final pizza was the absolute star of the night. Made with nove ceriali, a fior di latte base, beef carpaccio, rucola and a generous helping of tartufo, I guarantee no slice of pizza will ever come close. Coupled with a glass of Nero d’Avola and there you have it, that is what heaven tastes like. 

As the evening came to a close, and we indulged (for the fifth time in one evening) in a slice of celebratory cake, I couldn’t help but note how the Sciantusi owners, who coincidentally are one big, born-and-bred Italian family, really do have the winning hand. 

The magical charm, the incomparably delicious food, the use of solely authentic DOP (denominazione di origine protetta) products put together by head chef Davide Tavano, who has been with Sciantusi since the very beginning, and his sous chef Carla Guzzardo, who is Davide’s right hand woman and also a whizz in the dessert kitchen, make Sciantusi the place to be on a Friday night (or any day of the week). 

Sciantusi

2, Milner Street,

Sliema

Tel: 2131 3181

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