Located just behind Se’ de Braga, Presto Pizza is close enough that if the Archbishop had a sudden craving, he could duck out for a quick snack during service without you ever knowing he’d left.
I must have walked past Presto Pizza a half dozen times and never noticed it. And if I did, I dismissed it as a typical “pizza joint.” Don’t make that mistake. Yes. The exterior is plain. Unassuming. But that’s the mask! Step through the doors and you have stepped into something hidden. Secret. Perhaps even magical. The raw brick wall. The low ceilings. The muted light. There are tables for dining, and chairs for conspiratorial conversation. Did I just see Al Capone?
A franchise with its roots in Vila do Cond, Presto Pizza (in the words of one staff member) is a place you first visit for the pizza but return for the pasta. We did just the opposite. And until I work my way through the “other” (non-pizza) options, I will hold off on the pies.
On our initial visit we had the Spaghetti Bolognese and Salada al Prosciutto. Both a far cry from the “oh-you didn’t want pizza?” dishes served by the typical pizzeria. The Bolognese reminded me of a dish I’d had in Bologna years ago. The sauce was hearty almost an Italian chili. It was well-seasoned with garlic, rosemary, thyme and fennel. It came served over a steaming twirl of tender spaghetti.
The prosciutto salad was the perfect compliment. A tender mix of greens with wafer sliced cured meat, salty cheese and toasted pine nuts drizzled with thick, aged balsamic vinegar.
They offer a full bar and an extensive wine list; we chose a half bottle of Qta do Porto. A local red that smelled of black cherry, it had just the right amount of sweetness and body to cut the tomato and salt of our dished. Fabulous! In total, we got out for around €22.
Food quality, service, location and ambiance all get my vote. They do offer take-away, but not delivery (contrary to the signs in the window). Whether for the pizza or the pasta, Presto Pizza is worth a try.
For more information and more pictures, checkout their Facebook page.