It is testament to the popularity of David Lebovitz’s wonderful digital foodie empire that when googling Al Taglio his blog ranks higher on the hit list than the restaurant’s own site (although maybe Google knows how much I love David and how much I love Al Taglio…anyway point is, he’s right up there). I can’t remember how I first came across his blog but whatever it was turned out to be the key to a magical kingdom of boundless food knowledge of Paris along with entertaining anecdotes about the really frustrating and bizarre parts of Parisian life. My only regret is that I didn’t find it sooner so that I might have eaten every single thing he has ever mentioned whilst I was living in Paris for the year.
The discovery lead to quite a few late nights salivating over posts about pastries and chocolatiers and pictures of moist chocolate-beet cake meaning I would be half asleep at work the next day (but dreaming of the food). Now that I have returned to the glamorous metropolis of Exeter I still sit salivating over the blog but with the tragedy of being a whole lot further away than I used to be from portholes of gastronomic genius.
One of the places I did manage to get to was Al Taglio. It had been on my to-eat list and after a particularly fun summers day of galavanting about Bois de Vincennes followed by some (very happy) happy hours on rue de la Roquette, pizza sounded perfect. Although eating pizza in Paris isn’t very typique – overpriced touristy restaurants spring to mind, or those awful looking pizzas that sit in glass cabinets outside shopfronts – but the pizza behind the glass cabinets of Al Taglio is an altogether different experience. It’s some of the best I’ve ever had, in the UK, Chicago, Rome, anywhere. And they do it like the Romans do: you go up to the counter, see what looks good, point and gesture how much you want (language skills not that necessary) and they warm it up for you. The price is calculated by the weight and even with keen mojito fueled apetites the bill didn’t come to much more than €10-€15 each. Very fair for the quality of the food.
There are two locations, both in north-east Paris but I only ever went to the one on rue Neuve Popincourt in the 11th which was a handy ten minute walk from my apartment and just round the corner (literally) from the buzz of rue Oberkampf.