Pizza, EatingSome of my regular reader have probably noticed that many of the things I post about on Sundays as "other projects" are a bit of stretch. It is hard, really, to classify "eating pizza" as a project. Eating pizza does, however, seem to me a worthwhile undertaking. There is nothing quite the same as the melted cheese on crispy crust and savory toppings. Last week I made a post where I shared about my adventures in homemade pizza making. This week I'll share some of my favorite restaurants for pizza.
Iggie's, in Baltimore, delights me more than any other pizza place I know. Iggie's opening while I was living in Baltimore and is located just blocks from where I was living in Mount Vernon. There are so many things I like about Iggies. First, of course, the pizza is delicious. Not only do they make their own dough and their own ragu, they even go so far as to make their own mozzarella, which is fantastic. My personal favorites are the Alice, which includes pesto and goat cheese, and funghi, which is topped with mushroom ragu, leeks and goat cheese. Not only is the food great, Iggies is BYOB, so you can enjoy a bottle of wine you bring. In addition, the ambiance is great! There are charming tables outside during the warm months, the inside is great too. The employees and owner are super friendly and in lieu of accepting tips, Iggies selects a different charity to which tips are donated each month.
There are a few things I love about Spacca Napoli in Chicago. First, I love its location, it is one of the hidden treasures of the Ravenswood corridor. It is tucked away a block north of Montrose on Ravenswood and feels delightfully neighborhood orientated. The owner Jonathon Goldsmith is a long-time volunteer at Inspiration Corporation where I volunteer regularly and an organization I think to be fantastic. Finally, of course, the pizza is great. The Chicago tribune describes Spacca Napoli as the source of "the city's most authentic Neapolitan-style crust (please, don't confuse it with crispy Roman 'za) by being anything less than a total hard-ass when it comes to the small stuff. From dough balls (between 180 and 300 grams) to precise cook time (90 seconds), Goldsmith enforces the rules — just like they do at the Naples spots where he trained. The result: full-flavored, supple bubbly crust offering a perfect combo of char and chew. Oven trivia: 1,400 lbs.; 1,200 degrees; oak-fired Number of pies on menu: 14-16 Our fave: Salsiccia e Broccoletti. This white pizza brims with Fior di latte mozzarella and fruity olive oil, plus rapini — a heart-smart veggie always helps mitigate gorging guilt.” Sounds pretty great, right--it is!
Pizza Art is located to near to my first apartment in Chicago. I walked by it many times as I walked north from the Rockwell Brown Line stop. It is tucked into a charming collection of shops, which reminds me of a small town. It wasn't until last summer that I made my first visit to Pizza Art. I was immediately won over by the lovely outdoor tables, but on a later visit discovered the charm of indoor seating surrounded by a collection locally commissioned artworks. I was delighted by the fact that Pizza Art is BYOB and there is an eight-foot wood-burning oven in the dining room. In addition to delicious standard pizza selection like margherita and funghi, there are also exciting middle eastern inspired selections like calabrese (with tuna, anchovies, and olives) and frutti di mare (with mixed seafood, herbs and mozzarella).
Next up, I need to visit Great Lakes Pizza (in my neighborhood) which has gotten rave reviews.
What are your favorite restaurants for pizza?