D.O.C. pretty much nailed it. It has the location, the ambiance, the food, the chef and the service. It is Shanghai’s best pizza restaurant, if not the city’s most complete neighborhood restaurant, full stop.
We groaned when the Blarney Stone got kicked out of this location to be replaced by yet another Italian spot. What really happened is that the same people who are behind the Camel and Sliders (and the Blarney Stone) had it covered. They brought in veteran Shanghai chef Stefano Pace, peeled every surface back to the concrete and installed a comfy, trendy street-side dining room which is full of energy every night of the week.
Behind the bar sits the angry wood-fired pizza oven from which DOC’s main event emerges. Imported flour and quality-stamped Italian produce combine for a selection of pizzas (from RMB98) topped with the glorious likes of jet-fresh buffalo mozarella and San Daniele prosciutto (RMB148). The pies are better than anywhere else in town, even when we went a bit off the beaten track with a deliciously doughy, meaty and cheesy catamarano abruzzese (RMB128). A folded, boat-like pizza, it’s loaded with wood-fired pork belly, sweet mostarda, stracciatella mozarella and radicchio chicory.
D.O.C. makes their own pasta, and this is where Pace shows his Michelin experience. A bowl of organic duck egg Pappardelle with a milk-marinated veal ragout (RMB85) brings together delicate al dente ribbons of pasta with a complementarily firm sauce without being at all oily.
Book-ended by a plate of pristinely creamy Sololatte burrata tossed in rocket and cherry tomatoes (RMB110) and a fried calamari salad with garlic aoli and shaved Parmesan (RMB75) … and a couple of Birra Moretti’s (RMB50), DOC is the full package and has just raised the bar.