After we returned from our trip to Chattanooga, we had a day to relax and enjoy some delicious chicken that Marie cooked, and then the night after that, we joined the Atlanta Food Bloggers Society for a meeting of fun, shop talk, gossip, and learning more about food. This was our second meeting, and this time out, we met in Sandy Springs at Double Zero Napoletana for pizza and pasta. We were joined by Atlanta Etc., Atlanta Foodies, The Food and Me, Hot Dish Review, and Meals With Megan, and learned a little about one of our city’s most popular new restaurants.
Double Zero opened early last year in a big barn of a building just outside I-285 on Roswell Road that was once the home of a Three Dollar Cafe. They’re only open for dinners at this time, and have valet parking, even with a large lot on slow weeknights. It’s one of a handful of Atlanta restaurants that bake up my favorite variety of pizza: neopolitan, as is served at places like Varasano’s, Antico, Vingenzo’s, Fritti, and the recently-opened Fuoco di Napoli. Federico and Stephanie Castellucci, the owners, have been in the restaurant business for some time, and also own Iberian Pig and Sugo. We met with Steven Stern, the general manager, and Chad Crete, the executive chef.
This restaurant’s goal is to principally use the ingredients and flavors of the Campania region of Italy. From their website’s press, by “featuring Neapolitan pizza, fresh pastas, fresh seafood, unique Antipasti & Sfizi, handmade pastries, gelato, and bread, composed entrees featuring unique interpretations of classic regional dishes, and indigenous cured meats and cheeses, Double Zero aims to define Southern Italian cuisine for the Atlanta area.” I’ll concur on the bit about unique interpretations. Some of what we saw at the table looked to be very traditional and in line with proper Italian cooking. Other things had a very southern-United States feel to them, and the pizza that Marie selected for us to share was a really inventive blend of two cultures.
The restaurant’s name comes from the classification of flour used to make Neapolitan pizza. In Italy, flour is classified either as 1, 0, or 00, based on how finely ground the flour is. Double, or “doppio” zero is the most highly refined. The restaurant follows the very strict guidelines of the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, and uses only Double Zero Flour, DOP San Marzano tomatoes, all natural Fior-di-Latte or Bufala fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, sea salt and yeast in the making of Neapolitan Pizza.
But I see that I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we got to the pizza, the restaurant was kind enough to provide our group with two orders of their most celebrated appetizer. “L’Arrosto,” or “The Roast,” is a big, sharable pound and a half of roasted pork shoulder served in cast iron. It comes with a large dish of garnishments to stuff with the pork into little pizza nuvole pockets: pickled vegetables, grilled radicchio salad, pepper jelly, roasted garlic puree, Calabrian chiles, and an apple-almond mostarda. Honestly, a party of three could eat very well with one of these as their main course.
Marie and I decided to share one pizza and one order of pasta. She chose a pie called The American, which is effectively the same sort of pie that you might get as a “deluxe” or a “supreme” at a standard pizza place in the south, but done Neopolitan style. Its tomato sauce is made with the DOP San Marzano tomatoes, with a mix of shredded mozzarella and provolone cheeses, sausage, seasonal mushrooms, roasted red peppers. Honestly, I was not really taken with it. I preferred the more traditional Neopolitan pies that our friends ordered, particularly the Quattro Stagione that Marilyn selected, with artichokes, garlic and four different cheeses.
We also enjoyed a bowl of Paglia e Fieno. Looking for something that wasn’t the usual tomato sauce, Marie selected this, with spinach and egg tagliatelle noodles, a sherry-mushroom crème sauce, green peas, mushrooms, and Prosciutto di Parma. That was just terrific. The pizzas here range from “fine” to “very good,” but the L’Arrosto and the pasta were more impressive, and I was really pleased with them.
We had a really great evening out with our friends. It’s always fun to share shop talk about our hobby and reminisce about the restaurants in town, and share recommendations. We appreciate Double Zero hosting us, and Marie and I are looking forward to trying some more of their pasta sometime soon.
(While this was not quite a proper media event, a portion of our meal was complementary. It’s our policy to always note when we’ve received our meal without charge. If you would like to invite us to your restaurant’s media events, please drop Grant a line at firstname.lastname@example.org .)
Other blog posts about Double Zero: