"I'm in love. I'm having a relationship with my pizza."
- Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love
... tucked away on the last page of Artisan's menu, the quote couldn't be more fitting. That is precisely the feeling that lasts long after the Artisan experience comes to an end.
Months before Artisan threw open its doors, we had heard word of a new Italian spot to-be, one with a pizza oven flown all the way from Naples. The news spread quickly. It is safe to say its reputation preceded its opening.
For months we watched as Artisan took shape. The floors, the paint, the chairs and tables, the sign, and the finally, the lights!
The time to venture inside had arrived...
White walls meet wood floors and ceilings at this stylish, European eatery tucked away in Island Harbour, opposite historic and archeological site, Big Spring. Lit up against the night sky, it beckons you inside.
True to its Anguillian and Italian roots, a certain rustic charm lives inside Artisan. Balanced with an undeniably upscale feel (prices are affordable), it is not the least bit pretentious. Welcoming, warm and with down to earth staff, I recommend making reservations in advance. Artisan gets busy!
Artisan is the product of the passionate husband and wife team, Juergen and Indra.
Indra, from Island Harbour and Juergen, a Liechtenstein native, met here in Anguilla when Juergen was working in finance. Together, they traveled the world and fell in love with the south of Italy.
With Indra & Juergen
Weeks turned into months of exploring the southern Italian countryside, dining from town to town. "Cuisine gets particularly interesting the further south you go in Italy," Juergen beamed.
Time to hang up his suit and tie, Juergen and Indra decided to bring a little slice of the area they so love to Anguilla, their true home.
With beautifully executed decor, would our palates be equally impressed?
First, a number of specialty starters. They include calamari, fritto misto, Angry Shrimps, soup of the day, plates of salami and formaggi and a number of salads.
Next? A plethora of pizzas cooked in their state of the art, 900° wood oven.
The Pizza Oven
Artisan lists a number of pizzas with a wide variety of toppings. We love their "Pizza Bianche" - no tomato sauce with a fior di latte base.
Prefer to mix and match your pizza toppings? You can do that, too!
If there's one thing that's impossible not to love about Artisan, it's the true love and care that has been put into each and every detail.
From the sign that embraces Anguillian heritage (reflecting the restaurant's location), to the font used on the menu, even pieces of Neapolitan history are peppered throughout...
And then, it all comes to life before your eyes!
Now, for the final verdict...
Juergen had explained that the classic Neapolitan way is to create a wide, doughy, crust pizza with a paper thin middle. Cooked for only 60-90 seconds, it is served hot. The center is often softer and soupier than the pizza's edge. The crusts are meant to soak up the savory juices in the middle.
It is indeed an art!
One bite, and? Pizza perfection!
With just the right amount of chew, the crust is exceptional. The flavor, savory and salty, with a wood-burning smokey hint, is divine. It is perfectly complemented against the richness of the cheeses in the Quattro Frommagi.
Without a doubt, this pizza has captured a pizza my heart ;-)
We are forever grateful to you, Indra and Juergen for showing us the true Neapolitan way and bringing these slices of heaven to Anguilla!
Directions: Located across the street from the road to Arawak in Island Harbour.
Hours: Open from 5-9:30pm for dinner. Closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
Menu: Click here
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