Bocce Restaurant in Midtown is now hosting a Pizza Happy Hour that shouldn’t be missed! This happy hour menu is offered every day from 4-7 PM at the bar and on the patio, and includes $7 specialty gourmet pizzas, $6 specialty cocktails and glasses of wine, and other delectable bites.
The outside of the restaurant has an inviting feel, with a bocce court, rustic patio tables, and floor-to-ceiling open windows. The warm ambiance is continued inside with an earthy color palette and unique wood accents running throughout. Even the partially tile covered floor perfectly lent to the rustic feel of the restaurant. Immediately upon entering the establishment, I was warmly greeted by the host. Once I informed him I was there for the special happy hour meet and greet event, he promptly walked me back to the kitchen. Here I was personally introduced to Chef Nunzio and immediately offered a glass of wine.
As I walked over to the bar I was offered red or white wine, or a glass of Prosecco, all of which are available for only $6 on the Happy Hour menu. I started with a glass of Pinot Grigio, which as expected, I found to be crisp and quite refreshing. After a second glass of Pinot Grigio, I switched over to the Prosecco; I found the lightness of the bubbles to be enjoyable, and I was very pleased with the crisp, dry finish. The bar itself was well-lit and well-decorated. The open windows allow for an abundance of natural light to flow in, and the light reflecting off the neon green accent lights adds a nice contrast to the brown stones and wood that make up the bar.
I was invited back into the kitchen to hand make my own pizza. I decided on the Quattro Formaggi pizza which has gorgonzola, ricotta, fontina, and mozzarella cheese, as well as fresh arugula. Chef Nunzio walked me through the whole pizza making process, step by step. We started by grabbing the ball of dough. He showed me to use my whole hand to press and stretch the dough; this insures that your dough is even and so you don’t leave any finger holes behind. Once my dough was pressed out into a semi-decent even circle, I added four or five scoops of ricotta, which would serve as then “sauce” for my pizza. Next, Chef Nunzio gave me a whole mozzerella ball. (They keep them whole to preserve the liquid inside.) I used my hands to break up the mozzerella and evenly spread it around my dough. Then I added a generous handful of grated fontina and some gorgonzola as well. Lastly, we added some olive oil around the crust of the dough; now it was time for my pizza to hit the brick-oven. I was expertly directed to get the uncooked pizza onto the pizza shovel using two swift motions; my right hand pushing the lightly floured pizza shovel under the dough, while using my left hand to pull the dough towards me. Next, I used two more swift motions to fling the pizza to the back of the oven. I was shocked with what ease I was able to do all this! And even more shocked at how quickly my pizza cooked; it could not have been in the oven for more than five or six minutes. After skillfully removing the pizza from the oven, Chef Nunzio helped me add the finishing touches, a generous sprinkling of arugula and a swirl of olive oil.
After slicing the pizza, it was brought over to the bar where we all photographed it before digging in. The pizza was piping hot and the toasted flour smell coming from the crust made my mouth water. The combination of cheeses with the bitterness of the arugula made for a well composed bite. Chef Nunzio made all of the pizzas for us to try and I was not disappointed by any of them. My favorite was my handmade Quattro Formaggi, but I also enjoyed the Diavola which included tomato sauce, mozzarella and spicy sopressta, as well as, the Ortolana which included grilled zucchini, eggplant, and shaved brussel sprouts. And all of these pies for only $7 each?
Overall, I had a wonderful experience at Bocce, especially considering it was my first time there. I would gladly return with friends to enjoy the laid back, rustic environment, friendly staff, and tasty Happy Hour treats. Can’t wait to go back so I can try out the bocce court!"
3252 NORTHEAST FIRST AVENUE · MIAMI, FL · 33137