Fermento 1889

Review by Jess Baracelli, Elisa Grommisch, Gabrielea Perdomoo, Catherine Randles and Emily Skaug
When we first walked into the small, however, quaint pizzeria, it was clear this establishment knows what they are doing. The pizzeria itself was decorated with worn neutral tiles that gave it a homey and rustic atmosphere. The fixtures, in contrast to the tiles, were modern with exposed light bulbs and copper accents. The tables are in front of the wood oven and where the pies are being prepared so you know exactly where your food is coming from and how it is made. Overall, we enjoyed the atmosphere and liked eating somewhere that wasn’t filled with tourists.
After being seated at the table, the waiter came over and we ordered water for the table.  Our waiter was very nice, spoke English well and didn’t overstay his welcome. The menu had variety of traditional and non-traditional options without being overwhelming and with reasonable prices.  The pizzas were offered with a Neapolitan dough that is like a flatbread, which was different from what we have seen before at other pizzerias in Italy. We all decided to get different pizzas to try all the options.
The chef handled the dough and ingredients with care when creating each pizza. He used that same care and skill when putting the pizzas in the oven, rotating them and then pulling them out. Each pie looks a little bit different with char marks and air bubbles giving each pizza character and the feeling that it was truly homemade. When ordering the pizza, you are given a variety of options to choose  from, and whether you want a tomato sauce base or a white base, as well as the option of a traditional crust or thin crust. While the first pizza came out less than 10 minutes after ordering it, each pie came out one by one so by the time the last person got their pizza the first person was almost finished.
The pizza crust was very fluffy and thick and had been cooked perfectly in the brick oven pizza stove.  Just by looking at the pizza you could see the typical Neapolitan crust that consisted of a thin disk and thick crust and the char burned edges were scrumptious. The pizza’s ordered included pesto, broccoli rabe, margarita and sausage.
The pesto pizza was a white base that had mozzarella fiordilatte, Genoese pesto, and DOP parmigiano reggiano cheese topped with extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and fresh basil.   It appeared to be a little too oily in the center, but the cheese was properly melted, and the toppings distributed evenly throughout.  When cutting into the pizza the cheese began to ooze and the oil dripped to the center causing the center and bottom of the crust to become slightly soggy.  However, when picking it up the pizza held it shape and the crust immediately melted in your mouth.  You could taste the rustic char of the crust and the excellent pairing of the salty parmigiano with the creamy cow’s milk mozzarella.  The cheese flavor was enhanced by hint of parmigiano in the fresh pesto.  The pesto itself tasted incredibly fresh with hints of cheese, oil, and seasonings, but the basil was the most prominent flavor.  That fresh basil flavor was brought out by the pieces of fresh basil that were on top of the pizza. The pine nuts broke up the soft texture of the rest of the pizza by adding a much-needed crunch to every bite, without being overwhelming.  Once you reached the thick crust at the end, it was the perfect vehicle to soak up the oil, cheese, and pesto that had dripped of the pizza to create a perfect bite that was creamy, salty, and fresh.
The pizza with sausage was delicious the cheese was very fresh, and the sausage had a nice spice to it that balanced the mild flavor of the tomato sauce and cheese. The only complaint was that the bottom of the crust became slightly soggy from the weight of the tomato sauce and olive oil. The crust was not very thick, so the sauce was runny and caused the pizza to become “soupy”
The broccoli rabe pizza was the house pizza called Fermento 1889 and it consisted of basil, salt, olive oil, cheese, sausage and broccoli rabe. We enjoyed the pizza but towards the end found that the broccoli rabe had an overpowering taste. In general, we would have wanted more sausage and less broccoli.
Both of the margherita pizzas were also well presented. The pizza dough was very tasty and we enjoyed the tomato sauce.  There was also just the right amount of cheese on the pizza as well.  Overall, the flavor of the pizza showed that it was made with fine ingredients.
The waiter’s recommended dessert was a custard that could be described as a mix between panna cotta and creme brulee.  After finishing a pizza, the portion given was enough to be shared by three people. The top of the custard was bruleed sugar that cracked when your pressed on it with a spoon. The crispy sugar shell was perfectly sweet and once cracked it revealed the creamy center. The custard was warm on top yet cold on the bottom. The custard itself though was creamy and flavored with specs of vanilla bean that was subtle yet the prominent flavor.  While we think we would have preferred if the whole desert had been warmed because the bottom was cold, it was a light yet delicious way to end the meal.
While we all agree that the pizza crust was slightly soggy, it was still a great place to grab a quick and inexpensive bite to eat. With both charm and delicious pizza, this tiny spot was the place for authentic Italian cuisine.

Pizzeria Fermento 1889
Address Borgo San Frediano, 40r
Tel.: 055 013 2367
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 6:45-11:45pm; Closed Mondays