Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stanziato's


Goat cheese on my pizza. Enough said.


Pizza with a lot of different meats.


I'm like, reallllly happy here.

While in Connecticut, I tried a new pizza place called Stanziato's. I had no idea what to expect because the place is brand new with a sandwich board outside advertising "wood fired pizza". Why not? Why not indeed. The restaurant still looks new, they don't have their liquor license yet, but the pizza was the reason we went, and the reason we will go back!

My friend ordered a "meat lovers" pizza that he created himself with meatballs, sausage and pepperoni. It looked good, but he also had mushrooms, so I didn't try it. I ordered the white pizza with spinach, garlic, goat cheese and mozzarella. And seriously, I was blown away. The crust was crispy and salty, but chewy and just wow. The pizza maker guy used a lemon infused olive oil (that he made himself) to add just the perfect tang to the already perfect pizza. Add goat cheese to anything and I'll be happy, but with the lemon and garlic and spinach.........it made me want to move to Connecticut. I might see if they have a room above the shop. Everything's locally grown and organic and the chef, Matt Stanczak, was there making the pizza himself. I just love knowing the owner is the chef and is working on my specific pizza! Go there and see him and eat pizza!

www.stanziatos.com

A'Mangiare


cheesy white pizza


Pesto pizza

My friend, Greg, and I meet for lunch anytime I'm in the NY area. This time we tried a new pizza place that neither of had ever gone to, A'Mangiare. We could smell the garlic while we were parking the car, so we figured it couldn't be that bad!
We order two pizzas to split and it worked out very well. The white pizza was very cheesy and very good. The crust was a perfect combination of crispy and doughy. I was afraid it would get soggy in the middle, but it held up nicely. The Pesto Pizza was different from what I would normally order, but we both enjoyed it. It came with sliced tomatoes, spinach, roasted peppers, pesto sauce and mozzarella (we held the mushrooms for obvious reasons). I love a good pesto, but have never had it on pizza. It added a new dimension to my pizza enjoyment. It's a whole other way to go, which I highly recommend. We didn't have any of the pasta or salads, but other people's looked really good. I would definitely try one the next time.
www.amangiare.com

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ryan's Birthday Pizza from Bertucci's





Kelly and Ryan eating a modified "Bertucc"

Cassie designed the birthday pizzas

Ok, Ok, so I had pizza two nights in a row. It's not like it was my idea! I was forced, well, forced is a strong word. I was.....well, I just ate it and was pretty happy about it. I mean, it was a special occasion. It's not everyday that my little cousin, Ryan, turns 27! So, since he loves Bertucci's so much, and specifically loves "The Bertucci" the most, his girlfriend, Cassie, ordered 4 pizzas to spell out what you see above. Everyone was very impressed. There was even enough blank, I mean, without pepperoni, for me to eat! We all went out after, but the pizza was the perfect start to a very fun night!

Cafe Pizzaiolo

Ridiculously good Mozzarella bites.

I love me some homemade meatballs.

New York Style cheese pizza

The Diavala Pizza (spicy)

Kelly tried both pizzas.

Chris ordered the Diavala, but tried some of the cheese.

I, of course, ordered only cheese.

Last Friday, Chris, Kelly and I met for dinner in the Crystal City area of Arlington, VA. I had a gift certificate for this one pizza place but it was closed when we got there. There was no need to panic because there were about a million other Italian/pizza places on the same block. So we closed our eyes, spun around while pointing, and ended up at Cafe Pizzaiolo. What a fortunate accident. The only problem was, they wouldn't accept my gift certificate. Weird.


We knew we'd love it when we walked in. My family is very big on playing games and this place was loaded with them. They had a whole big pile of games for every age. We seriously considered playing Don't Break the Ice, but some little kid swiped it before we could get to it. Wiley kids. Anyways......we delved right into the menu and made some big decisions.

First, we started with a side of meatballs and fried mozzarella. I realllllllly like homemade meatballs. I can tell right away if they are frozen out of a bag. And these were freshly made. And very yummy. However, they were definitely overshadowed by the fried mozzarella, which was very lightly battered fresh mozzarella. What a difference between this and the fried string cheese ones! They were just juicy, cheesy bites of joy. I only dipped one in the marinara sauce because they were soooo good on their own.

Then we got our pizza. We ordered one NY style cheese and the Diavala which has sausage, red and yellow peppers, and spicy peppered cheese. I had learned my lesson the last time I tried to order something out of my comfort zone, so I stuck with the cheese. And it paid off. The crust was yeasty and crispy and bendy and chewy----just like NY pizza should be. And I should know, I ate a lot of it. You could fold the pizza, which is a requirement for good New York pizza. There was a perfect amount of sauce to cheese to crust ratio and we were settling in for a good night. Chris and Kelly both enjoyed their spicy pizza, although, why, is beyond me. We left very happy. I will definitely be returning when my sister in law is in town because they offer gluten free crust, and she's allergic to real pizza crust. I suppose I'll still go to the other place down the street, but it will be hard to pass this place up.
www.cafepizzaiolo.com