Truffles Pizzeria: restaurant review

Upon entering Truffles Pizzeria, the air was pungent with the luxurious smell and quality of truffle oil – as one of my favourite cooking ingredients, this was a good indication of what was to come.

Opened as a pizzeria only a year ago, amongst the dainty throng of local independents on Magdalen Road, business seems to be prosperous. Even on a Wednesday evening, tables were occupied or reserved; popular with local families, companionless individuals perhaps in need of a restful meal and some quality time to themselves, young 30-something couples and people popping in for a hump-day takeaway order. All students tend to migrate towards The Old Firehouse when pizza is fancied, but I recommend this restaurant for a more relaxed, intimate atmosphere, and for a greater selection of elaborate toppings.

Truffles Pizzeria is sadly lacking in a website and an accessible menu online, so I couldn’t do my favourite, unspontaneous habit and peruse the menu and decide what I was going to have beforehand. But its TripAdvisor profile, rating it #24 in the whole of Exeter, and at a stable 5 stars from over 100 happy customers, reassured my qualms concerning the menu. I can vouch that the pizza menu is extensive, for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, featuring experimental toppings like blue cheese, honey and walnut (without a tomato base) to the classic pepperoni. Pizzas are priced at approximately £11.50 each.

Typically I’d go for the most experimental, i.e. the blue cheese, honey and walnut combo, but I’ve seem to be recreating these same flavours again and again for my own recipes (like my pear and stilton flatbreads) because blue cheese and walnut are the recipe for a perfect marriage. On this occasion my reviewee date and I went for ‘The Autumn’, to enjoy the current seasonal flavours, and ‘The Vegetarian’. ‘The Autumn’ is apt for those with luxurious and expensive tastebuds as it was laden with mushrooms, pine nuts and truffle oil. The flavourful ‘Vegetarian’ option featured tender artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, green and black olives and caramelised onion. Both were a real treat, but ‘The Autumn’ was particularly distinct in flavour due to the drizzling of truffle oil and the abundance of toasted pine nuts.

The owner Chris is cheerful and welcoming, and the way he runs the restaurant truly reminds me of No 1 Polsloe’s style, as it has a lovely, personal touch which comes with independent businesses. For example, Chris recently invited in local primary school children to propose their own perfect pizzas, and the winning design made its way onto the menu. The walls are decorated with exceptional prints and drawings by local secondary school students, too.

I apologise that my photos aren’t up to my usual standard as the restaurant was romantically lit by candlelit, so the pictures do not do the pizzas justice. I would encourage you to try out Truffles whilst you have the chance before entering graduate life; it’s a perfect location for a cosy date. Alternatively, you can experience the pizza in the comfort of your own home with Deliveroo…

Truffles Pizzeria on Facebook

Truffles Pizzeria on TripAdvisor

 

Pear and stilton rustic flatbreads

Pear and stilton rustic flatbreads vegetarian; serves 2

inspired by a BBC recipe for pear and stilton creamy pasta, I’ve caramelised them and popped them on a flatbread. With added extras, of course. 

Ingredients:

For the flatbread bases: 

  • 175g strong white flour
  • 120ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the toppings: 

  • 2 tbsp red pesto
  • 1 medium sized red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 pear
  • 100g stilton, crumbled
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 10 walnuts, chopped

Method:

  1. Begin by caramelising the onion. Heat a saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil, and drop in the finely sliced onions and a clove of crushed garlic. Cover the pan with a lid, and leave to stew for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. While the onions are caramelising, pre-heat the oven to 190ºc and make the bases.
  3. Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt and yeast. Make a well in the middle of the bowl, and then pour in 120ml lukewarm water, followed by 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Pop the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise for 25 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Slice the pear in 2cm thick pieces, and add them to the strewing onions to caramelise. If more moisture is needed, spoon in a tbsp of butter. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then take the pan off the heat.
  5. Roll out the risen dough into circular bases, and place on baking paper and onto oven trays.
  6. Assemble with the toppings! Begin by spreading a spoonful of red pesto onto the bases, followed by the caramelised onions and pears. Finish with the stilton, walnuts, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook in the oven for 16 minutes.

Anchovy and caramelised onion rustic pizza

Anchovy and caramelised onion rustic pizza serves 2; makes 2 individual pizzas 

all the favourite, albeit acquired, Italian flavours rolled into a single pizza

Ingredients

For the pizza bases:

  • 175g strong white flour
  • 120ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the toppings: 

  • 1 medium sized brown onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tin of anchovy fillets in olive oil
  • Capers
  • Olives
  • 100g mozzarella, torn into 10 pieces

Method

  1. Begin by caramelising the onions. Heat a saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil, and drop in the finely sliced onions. Add a clove of crushed garlic and a bay leaf. Cover the pan with a lid, and leave to stew for 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. While the onions are caramelising, pre-heat the oven to 190ºc and make the pizza bases.
  3. Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt and yeast. Make a well in the middle of the bowl, and then pour in 120ml lukewarm water, followed by 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Pop the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise for 25 minutes in a warm place.
  4. While the dough is rising, make a basic tomato sauce for the bases. In a saucepan, cook 2 chopped tomatoes with 1 tbsp tomato puree on a low heat. Add the basil and chilli flakes at the end.
  5. Once increased in size, roll out the dough and shape into two individual pizza bases. Place on baking paper on a tray, ready for the oven.
  6. Assemble the pizzas! Coat the bases in tomato sauce, then spread over the caramelised onions. Drain the anchovies, and line them in a criss cross pattern. Add the capers, mozzarella, and olives – alternating to form an aesthetically pleasing pattern.
  7. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.