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Grappa Pizzeria and Pub – Now in Dong-gu!

By Todd L. Greene

Taking its name from the strong, white-graped digestivo (liqueur), Grappa has just opened facing the seaside, separated only by a small garden plot from KG Western Pub.  From my conversation with Viviana, they had a previous location in Samsan-dong. 

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Upon entering, one first notices a large poster in the back of the restaurant bearing both the name and a picture of Julia Roberts enjoying a slice of pizza.  Then, the chalkboard menu catches your eye among a pile of chopped and cured hardwood. Yes, folks-this place has a wood-fired pizza oven.  Viviana explains the menu and takes my order, while husband Mario rolls the dough, ladles the sauce and applies the toppings.  Upon finding out with slight disappointment that I am customer number four, and not one, I ordered the Marcello and an ice-cold Hite.  

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I watch as Mario finishes prepping my pizza and slides it into the oven, then meticulously tends to it.   In a few minutes, he removes it, and Viviana cuts it with a pizza wheel, plates it and presents it to me.  This particular pie features their perfectly-flavored sauce, red onion, red pepper, and Gorgonzola cheese, with a sprinkle of dried basil.   From first bite and then on to completion, I had to consciously keep my moans of delight at bay.  A just-right, thin crust supports an explosion of flavor, and the generous but not overdone use of Gorgonzola made every mouthful a true pleasure.  

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The Marcello is just right for a moderate appetite for one, or could satisfy two light eaters, and was 13,000 won.  They have a nice assortment of long-neck beers, Heineken and Hite on tap, a few wines, espresso, an assortment of gourmet sodas and sparkling waters-and Grappa, of course.  On the day of this writing, they were only serving pizza, but the menu offerings will normally include pasta choices.  Other pies listed as available were Margherita, Margherita Bianca, Margherita Prosciutto, and a few others, including one with porcini mushrooms.  I was anxious to return and try some of these other pies, or to sample their pastas.  So anxious, in fact, that I returned with a friend there for dinner – the same day I enjoyed my lunch here.   This time around, we ordered the Margherita with prosciutto and the Margherita Bianco, and a couple of cold Moretti longnecks.  Both pies were again delicious, with the Bianco generously covered with fresh cherry tomatoes, and the prosciutto pie was literally covered with the thinly-sliced, salty meat.

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  Many curious diners wandered in off the street and sat down to order.  I overheard several people saying things to the effect of ‘this is the best pizza I have ever had in Korea’.   I haven’t been here long, but this is a true gem of a place, one that will no doubt become a regular spot for me.

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Their hours are 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. or so, maybe later if they are busy.  Initially, they won’t set any closing days until they get established and guage the demand.   They are located in Kkotbawi, at 1146-34 Bangeo-Dong, Dong-Gu in Ulsan, within a stone’s throw from O’Taco and numerous bars.  

The well stocked beer fridge

The well stocked beer fridge

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