Natalino’s Pizza – Best Roman Style Pizza in Surrey
For our first meal out in (relative) safety since getting our initial covid jabs a few weeks ago, Craig and I ventured out for a long overdue appointment with Mr. Golden Sun down at Crescent Beach. Natalino’s Pizza is located a hop, skip, and a jump (or a plain old-fashioned city block for those who prefer to walk) away from the beach on the main drag so our target was acquired. Their Roman-style pizzeria opened right when covid hit, so they haven’t built up the buzz they deserve yet but thankfully their prime location has allowed them to do enough business to keep afloat throughout the evolving dining restrictions.
Natalino’s Pizza specializes in al taglio pizza which is served up square on wooden boards inside the eatery, but with current restrictions it’s take-out only. With this picture-perfect spring weather I’d rather be down on the beach than stuck inside with a hot pizza oven doing its thing anyway, so we grabbed a log to dig in.
We got ours half-and-half so prices are what it would cost you for a full “footlong” pizza, and pizza is also served by the square-slice at $5 each. Natalino’s Pizza also does a reasonable sunset special from 6-8 PM nightly where they drop the price down to $3.50 per.
The Montanara ($19) is from their Special menu and is quite simply one of the most beautiful pizzas I’ve ever layed eyes on. The fresh basil bloomed out from the center, spreading out its four deep green leaves to ensure each slice began with a burst of fragrance. A gentle snowfall of parmesan cheese fell on halved cherry tomatoes bursting with flavour, earthy quartered mushrooms, and thick chunks of spiced Italian sausage. Buried underneath the cornucopia of harmoniously balanced toppings was a white truffle sauce that put this pizza over the edge into the realm of profound revelation. An absolute must. Craig actually dislikes truffles (I know right??) but he really loved this one too!
You probably know the old saying, “when in Rome do as the Romans do”, which I suppose in this case would be sticking to the classic toppings. But good thing we aren’t in Rome, so we can do as the Filipinos do and throw some pork belly and banana peppers on there and hey, how about some random cilantro sprigs while we’re at it? At least they use San Marzano tomatoes in the spicy sauce so there’s still some authenticity left in the Manila ($17). The pulled pork was to die for but got a little drowned out by all the spice. If I were to order this again I’d probably ask for half-banana peppers or just pick some off myself to let the pork belly breathe.
The crust at Natalino’s Pizza bears mentioning here too. It’s thin and light with a nice balance between crispy and toothsome, and their secret to this ideal crust is to let it mature from 48-72 hours before the pizzas are prepped. If you peek around the counter to your right when ordering you can see various stages of the process at work.
We took a stroll on the beach after the pizza to burn off a few calories…so that we could take in more back at Natalino’s! A cool and creamy panna cotta ($5) sounded super appealing on a hot spring afternoon, and I got mine with strawberry sauce for extra summery vibes. I liked how they give you the sauce on the side so that you can sweeten it to your personal taste.
Craig’s caramel panna cotta had a rich, thick sauce that oozed with decadence. He was definitely a fan and appreciated that both spoon and cup were environmentally sound. Speaking of which, if you bring your pizza to the beach there is a recycling bin that takes pizza boxes at the end of Beecher Street just before you hit the beach proper; you’ll have to fold or rip the box to get it in but it can be done!
We’ll end this restaurant review by introducing you to the fine folks behind Natalino’s Pizza: hubby and namesake Natalino hails from Rome and was inspired by a desire to share his hometown cuisine with their friends and neighbours in the community, Molly is his hardworking wife who you’ll find up front tending to the customers, and Natalino’s father keeps busy in the back prepping the dough with his magic touch. The family’s mix of backgrounds allows them to bring both fun and tradition to their pizza creations. A really fine group of folks.
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