A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Feb. 12.

Pizza, fresh fruit juices and
amazing pesto sauce


D'Pepe - Monteverde, Costa Rica
Half of a grande pizza con jamon y hongos (large pizza with ham and mushrooms), jugo de papaya (papaya juice), jugo de mora (blackberry juice)
4182 colones (~$8.99)

I like eating foods in countries that aren't known for those foods. For example, when I was in Vienna, I couldn't resist having a Shanghai-style Chinese lunch. More surprising than anything was how unsurprising it was. It was just like the kind of food you would find in an American Chinese restaurant. Thankfully, my experience with pizza in Monteverde proved a little more novel.

The ham and mushroom pie that Pat and I split at D'Pepe wasn't particularly good, the thin crust too charred in spots and the lackluster cheese too lightly applied. The toppings were also so spare that they didn't reach certain slices. (Whether these shortcomings can be applied to Costa Rican pizzerias in general I can't really say.) Still, as mediocre as the pizza was, the pesto sauce that accompanied it was magical.

It came in a clear, fat-bottomed bottle, the kind you'd expect a sorcerer to keep on his shelf. It very well could've been a spellcasting elixir because it made every bite of my iffy slices exciting. It also made me realize that I'd never seen pizza served with pesto, a vast omission from the New York dining scene. So while D'Pepe can keep its pies, it needs to start air-mailing its magic portions immediately. 5/10


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