‘A Magica just celebrated its third birthday, and has graduated from being something you love too much to share even with your better friends, to that place where it’s hard to get a table around dinner time. Its popularity is due to one thing, and one thing only: pizza. A small selection of antipasti and salads, and a couple of desserts are all that buffs up an unassuming list of them, starting at a scant €3.50 for an excellent Marinara.
But don’t let their simple appearance – or the paper-covered tables and easygoing waiters – fool you. ‘A Magica makes nothing less than the best pizza north of the Alps.
The crunchy, chewy base is good enough to eat plain, and can certainly do without the normally ubiquitous tomato sauce. If you don’t believe this, try the Pupone (€8). Not only are you not going to miss the tomatoes; their absence brings out the flavor in two ingredients rarely seen even on restaurant menus: salsiccia, with its vague hint of fennel, and cime di rapa, i.e. wild broccoli. Add mozzarella and olives, and it’s good enough to have brought tears of joy to our eyes on our first visit.
Another personal favorite is the Spigo (spinach and gorgonzola; €6.50). There’s always the classic Rustica (tomatoes, mozzarella, arugula, parma ham and parmesan; €8), but you could also try the adventurous daily special, or create your own by combining one of three possible bases (tomato sauce, chickpea spread or mint pesto) with a long list of ingredients, from fresh basil to grilled radicchio and spicy spianata sausage.
Although ‘A Magica isn’t a place to linger – the hungry stares of other pizza lovers waiting to take over your table can become a little unnerving – but don’t leave without sampling the superb espresso or an ice-cold limoncello.