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Bambolina
288 Derby Street
Salem, MA
(978) 594-8709
www.bambolinarestaurant.com

Bambolina

Watch this video
 
 
What does it take to make the perfect pizza? The freshest ingredients top of the line equipment and the patience and precision to put it all together.  And that's just what you'll find at Bambolina.
 
Located on busy Derby Street in downtown Salem, Mass, Bambolina is a casual spot serving lunch and dinner in a rustic yet refined space.
 
"As you can see it has a little of the attributes of a mill style building, the exposed wood ceiling, large timbers, brick walls.  We really wanted to bring a little bit of Brooklyn to Salem and I feel like this building has everything that we were looking for." 
 
Owner Tim Haigh and his team make a style of pizza called NEO-Neopolitan which combines all the timeless taste and authenticity of real Neopolitan pizza with new, creative toppings. It all starts with their dough- made traditionally with double zero flour.
 
"The pizza dough as a base is made 2 days a head of time.   So it's actually a very slow fermentation process and the pizza is balled up into a bun shape and then proofed over night. That pizza ball is then very gently stretched out to keep the crust nice and puffy.  So when we stretch the pie it's stretched to 9 or 10 inches, then it's topped." 
 
From there it takes a trip on a peel into Bambolina's big beautiful wood-burning oven.
 
"This is an Acunto Oven.  It's made in Naples.  It's quite possibly the best pizza oven in the world right now.  It burns at about 1000 degrees.  Cooks the pizza in about 90 seconds.  So it's a scorching hot oven.  Neapolitan pizzas are cooked at a high temperatures than other styles of pizza meaning you get this intense sear- kind of like a blistering on the outside of the crust.  It doesn't give enough time for the ingredients to evaporate so you retain a lot of the moisture the acidity of the tomato and the richness of the fresh mozzarella cheese."
 
These 11-inch pies are personal size so they're great to eat on your own.   But with so many creative concoctions- you may want to order a few for the table to sample and share.   There's the deliciously salty brussel sprout and bacon pizza loaded up with house cured pork or the simple yet satisfying margherita.  
 
"Our margherita is definitely something that we're proud of.   It's San Marzano- crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, little drizzle of olive oil  and some sea salt. It's delicious."
 
Seafood lovers will swoon for the Fruitti Di Mare pizza.  Covered in mussels, calamari and 1/2 pound of king crab legs, this pizza requires some extra utensils to tackle. 
 
"It's maybe a little bit messy.  It's served with seafood apparatus.  You get some picks and some crackers and stuff.  It's definitely a cool pizza."  
 
And true New Englanders will want to experience Bambolina's unique Clam Chowder Pizza.  
 
"We actually use whole local clams.. house smoked bacon, fresh shucked corn, sliced potatoes, scallions.  We finish it with a little drizzle of marscapone cream and then some broken up crispy potatoes on top. It's awesome. I only wish we had some oyster crackers to serve with it." 
 
Bambolina also offers a range of Italian inspired starters like creamy buratta cheese served caprese style,  blistered shishito peppers topped with goat cheese, almonds and lemon and Mexican street corn, served with an Italian spin.
 
"I love Mexican corn, but we just put an Italian twist on it.  So we use a house made Caesar dressing.  We crumble ricotta salada on top of it.  It's a really good bite."
 
And the Caesar salad is anything but ordinary- after it takes a turn on the grill.  
 
"The Caesar salad is cold but we put it across the char grill before we serve it so it has that smokey flavor to the romaine lettuce.   It's our house made salad dressing.  We cook the croutons to order which we feel makes a big difference when you get a fresh crunchy hot crouton and then it's topped with white anchovies and then it's romano cheese which is grated over the top of it."
 
The Italian comfort food carries on through the entree section of the menu as well, with hearty bolognese, slow cooked and served over orecchiette pasta and fork tender short ribs plated over whipped polenta and wilted spinach.  But it's the Carbonara that the customers and the staff really craves.  
 
"Carbonara is probably one of my favorite pastas.  It's made egg yolks and house cured bacon. We use bucatini pasta for it which is beautiful.  It's like a spaghetti pasta shape with hole running all the way down the  center.  And we serve that with a soft poached egg on top so it really just adds to the richness of the dish and makes it extra delicious." 
 
And with pizzas priced in the mid-teens and entrees topping out at 24 bucks , you'll find the prices extra palatable when you EAT HERE.
 

 


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