A million years ago, I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love and getting to the part when Elizabeth Gilbert has a religious experience while eating a Margherita pizza in Naples. And I thought: Someday I too will go to Naples and eat a pizza like that.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to go to Naples. But now that I’ve eaten a Margherita from Coalition Pizza in Joburg, the pressure is off.
I’m sure I’ll get lots of comments from people who have eaten pizza in Naples, disputing the title of this post. And I realize I don’t know what I’m talking about. But seriously, people: Have you been to Coalition and ordered the Margherita? If not, go do it now and then we’ll have a conversation.
I’ve been eating at Coalition since it opened in Rosebank a couple of years ago (although inexplicably I never blogged about it other than a brief mention in a post I wrote about cocktails). I loved Coalition’s pizza from day one but it never occurred to me to order the Margherita. Why get a pizza with only tomatoes, basil, and cheese when there are so many other toppings to choose from?
Then a couple of months ago I received an invite to try out Coalition’s new “Kitchen Table” experience at their second location in Fourways. The experience is a three-course meal and wine-pairing, during which you watch Coalition chefs make mozzarella cheese and Margherita pizza from scratch.
I’ll never see Margherita pizza the same way again.
A Margherita Pizza Experience
After sipping a Negroni and watching the sun set over “Tuscany” (i.e. Montecasino) on the Coalition terrace, my friend Fiver and I and a few other foodies sat at the long bar facing the restaurant’s open kitchen. We spent the evening chatting with Shayne, one of Coalition’s owners, and Levis, Coalition’s rock star pizza chef, drinking delicious wine and eating the food Levis and Shayne prepared.
It’s hard to explain what made this pizza taste so good. Maybe it was the crust, perfectly crispy and chewy at the same time. Maybe it was the fresh mozzarella, created in front of me moments earlier. Maybe it was the Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand right before they were spread onto the crust.
Or maybe it was just the whole vibe of the evening, which was perfect in every way. Worth the trek to Fourways for sure.
Coalition Pizza has locations at 2 Bolton Road, Parkwood (in the Park Corner complex near Rosebank) and Shop GF22 in the Pineslopes Boulevard shopping centre near Fourways. Book the Kitchen Table experience at Pineslopes for R380 ($26) per person (minimum four people, maximum six people).
My Kitchen Table experience was complimentary. Opinions expressed are my own.