NOTHING is more satisfying to eat than a pizza.
Whether you’re having a quiet night in, a messy night out or enjoying a meal at a restaurant, the round doughy treat is always a winner.
But there are varying degrees of quality.
Takeaways tend to be greasy with cheap, sometimes tasteless ingredients.
And some restaurants don’t have fresh produce or use dough that has been pre-made and frozen.
So despite the seemingly simple list of ingredients that make up a pizza, it’s not always easy to get it right.
But there’s a new restaurant in Leeds that is cooking up pizza perfection.
Ecco Pizzeria has set up shop on Otley Road in Headingley and prides itself on fresh, authentic Neapolitan pizza.
Despite the small restaurant (with around five or six large tables), it’s cosy and welcoming with a modern feel.
When we walk in we are greeted by a chatty waiter and his genuine conversation instantly puts us at ease.
There is an air of excitement about the new restaurant and you can tell the staff are optimistic about it.
After a brief chat with the waiter, we look through the menu.
Starters include olives, garlic bread, dough balls, chicken wings and wedges and there are plenty of side salads, dips and chicken to choose from.
There are also children’s menus, calzone and ‘Ecco lunch boxes’ which include a mini calzone for a quick snack.
But most interestingly, at Ecco they serve pizza by the half metre.
The reason for this, according to the menu, is that it makes it up to 20 per cent cheaper for the customer.
You can choose to have different toppings on each quarter metre, with options including the usual margheritas and quattro formaggis as well as ‘pizzas from around the world’.
Marrakech has slow-cooked Moroccan spiced lamb, red onions, peppers and olives, Kingston has jerk chicken and Hong Kong comes with chilli prawns and bok choi.
But we go for Carne, which includes spicy beef pepperoni, turkey ham and wood-fired chicken, and Ecco, again with wood-fired chicken, roasted tricolor peppers and mushrooms.
From the table we can see the chef shaping the fresh dough by hand before he puts it into the wood-burning, bell-shaped brick oven.
It arrives at our table shortly afterwards on a wooden chopping board and we can’t wait to tuck in.
Both sides of the half-metre pizza are delicious and you can tell every single ingredient is incredibly fresh. The dough is light and cooked to perfection and the vegetables are bursting with flavour whilst the meat is juicy without being greasy.
It is one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a very long time and my dining companion agrees.
And if you still have room, their gelato Italian ice cream is well worth a try.
We are allowed to sample all 12 flavours before settling on mango sorbet and vanilla gelato for £3, which are both full of flavour and yet again, taste so fresh.
With the half-metre pizza, two drinks and the sorbet and gelato, the bill comes to just under £18.
Ecco offers the perfect pizza and keeps it perfectly priced.