Da Maria identifies as a pizza house, but it is much more than that! Without doubt its Naples style pizzas with their 24 hour fermented pizza dough base, baked over lava stones, are different to what is normally available in Bali. However this luxury restaurant also serves fine Italian fare, other than just pizzas.
Diners not used to Italian cuisine are often confused with the offerings of many courses, but the portion size is usually small, so many different tastes can be enjoyed. However if you want a more complete entrée then look at the menu titled Assaggini, offering selections of a number of different small tastes. This may be a Salumi plate of Mortadella, bresaola and salami or Roasted beetroot with ricotta salad and radicchio, Calamari, ink aioli and rocket or Asparagus, seaweed aioli and parmesan.
The Classic traditional entrees of Arrancini and Prosciutto Crudo are also available.
Crudo is often referred to as Italian Sashimi. However it is quite different. Yes, it is mostly seafood and served raw but it has been dressed with a cold-pressed virgin olive oil. At Da Maria there is quite a selection of Crudo. The Scallop is also with fennel and lemon confit, Snapper with tomato and chilli, Tuna with roasted peppers and sherry vinegar, Coral Trout with chilli paste and spring onions and the Beef Tartare with mustard seeds and parmesan.
Whatever you order for entrees you will also need a side order of bread and here there are two great breads baked in house. A Focaccia with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt or the very special crunchy Italian Schiacciatina with oregano and a garlic infused olive oil.
A serving of pasta or two are essential ingredients for any Italian dinner. In house made pasta at Da Marie can be a perfect Pappardelle which is served with a braised shin ragu. The wide strip pasta is perfect for this meat sauce. No real Italian restaurant would ever serve a meat sauce [Bolognese] with spaghetti or any thin strip pasta. The excellent Gnocchi is also house made, and is served with a braised lamb ragu and olives.
Other pastas include Tortellini [stuffed with prawn meat], served with fermented chilli butter and basil, Ravioli [stuffed with roasted pumpkin] with ricotta and lemon butter and Spaghetti Vongole [clams] with white wine and parsley. The popular ear-shaped pasta from the south Orecchietti is with broccoli, strachiatella and dried chilli.
For mains the fish of the day is cooked skin on which is cooked to a crisp. The Pork Belly is wood-fired and surprisingly not too fatty. It comes with onion and beetroot. In fact it is the crispiest pork belly that I have ever had. The Chicken Cutlets are also good and they are with capers, oregano and lemon. There are usually also a couple of special mains on the daily menu as well.
Steaks are all Black Angus and can be fillet, sirloin or rib-eye. All are grilled and served with a crispy polenta and spinach, topped with a pepper sauce.
There are a variety of side dishes [even French Fries, if you must], the shaved pickled cabbage with parmesan and virgin extra olive oil being the standout. And then there is pizza, which is served any time including late at night. It is true Napoli style using pizza dough that has been fermented for 24 hours and cooked over lava stones.
Your pizza can be just a simple Margherita or a more exotic combination if you are prepared to pay Rp.200,000 for it, Whilst true Mozzarella [buffalo milk] is not always available, cow’s milk variations such as ‘fior di latte’ is often used as it is here with Da Maria’s Margherita. Other pizzas with ‘fior di latte’ include Formaggi [3 cheeses; gorgonzola, emmental and parmesan], Cotto [ham, mushrooms and oregano] and Salami.
Other pizzas can be a Marinara [with anchovies], Salsiccia [pork and fennel sausage], Funghi [with mushrooms, lemon ricotta and sage] or Gamberini [prawns and fermented chilli]. There is no doubt that the Pizzas are the main attraction here, in fact dinners of pasta and pizza seems to be the norm, as both are truly sensational.
The desserts or Dolci, are very Italian headed by a Polenta and Lemon syrup cake, with yoghurt ice cream, sticky, sweet and wonderful. The Cannoli is lemon and pistachio with chocolate and hazelnut, As always a Tiramisu [very good] and gelato selection and that New York café special, Affogato.
Late in the evening [after 10.00] the place is re-arranged and becomes a late night venue with DJ, dancing, etc., and from then on the only food served are the pizzas!
Limited, but quality, Italian dining for that very special occasion.
Restaurant : Da Maria.
Address : Jln. Raya Petitenget, Kerobokan.
Telephone : 934.8523.
Open : Lunch, Dinner and late-night pizzas.
Parking : Secure.
Price : Rp. 1.200,000 for two [+ drinks].
Credit Cards : All major cards.
Food : Italian [Naples].
Wine : Extensive list.
Service : Professional.
Atmosphere : De luxe.
Overall : Special place for a special occasion.
Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.
Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick.
Copyright © 2019 Gerry Williams