50 ave des Gobelins, 13th
M° Gobelins or Place d’Italie
Tel 01 43 31 62 32
I can’t believe I lived here for four years without trying this place before. I had a friend helping me paint my apartment earlier this month and it was just too smelly to eat, so we couldn’t order from my usual pizza chain down the street (which will remain anonymous), which is only for take-away. “There’s another place where we can sit nearby, I’ve heard it’s not bad,” I say to my friend (who looked like he’d need a darn good pizza to make up for being covered in paint splatters).
So we headed over to Pizza César at about 10pm, hoping it wasn’t too late. Lucky for us, they’re open until midnight, so we settled into the red velour booths beneath Venetian masks and perused the menu. Typical Italian choices of pizza, pasta and meat dishes. We thought of getting some antipasti starters to split, but then saw a neighboring table eating Tiramisu, and it looked good. So we ordered two pizzas and dessert instead. The house red wine that night was Italian, of course, and I would probably go for something better next time, but the pizzas were perfect (I got the Special César and friend got the Quatre Saisons) and came out in about five minutes. You can watch them cooking them in the wood-fired stone stove.The Tiramisu, as we guessed, was perfect. We shouldn’t have tried sharing one, it was a race to the finish.
The crowd is very mixed, some people dressed up, some students in jeans, us with paint splatters in our hair…I would say that you could call this semi-casual, because the decor is quite nice and there are white table cloths, but it’s not too snotty if you’re not dressed up.
As we ate, we noticed a lot of people coming in to get their pizzas to go. The take away prices are actually cheaper than the chain pizzeria one block away that I usually frequent, so I planned on coming back. We actually decided to celebrate the finish of our painting/flooring project the next night with a pizza and garlic bread to go, just €11, plus some Hagen Daaz from the chain pizzeria because César diesn’t make desserts to go. Let me say that the garlic bread, 2 huge slices for €3, was a meal in itself! It will be even harder for me to resist pizza in 2009!
Check out that garlic bread! Have a LOT of mints handy afterwards.
Another location around the corner at 81 blvd St-Marcel, 13th, M° Gobelins, tel 01 43 31 68 60, open daily 7pm-midnight.