Eye on the Pie: Pizzetta 211
July 12, 2006

Rosie's Farm-Fresh Egg, Hot and Sweet Peppers, Housemade Sausage

While the crust was as perfect as ever, this is probably my second least-favorite pizza I've ever had at Pizzetta 211 (my first least-favorite being a roasted cauliflower pie that suffered greatly from a heavy-handed distribution of fontina cheese). As is a usual reaction for me, I felt that the peppers overwhelmed all other flavors, not with their heat, just with that pervasive "pepper flavor." The sausage was also a dissapointment. It was too hamburger-y and not well-spiced. I'm not Meathenge, so I can't tell you what the exact meat was, but I would first suspect that it wasn't pork because I usually adore all pork sausage. However, the very pale pink color convinced me it couldn't be beef either? And forget lamb because I'd recognize that flavor anywhere. Normally, I love all the cracked egg pizzas but not this one, not this time.

Orange, Picholine Olives, Fennel

This was perfection. The play of sweet oranges with the briny olives against the herbaceous roasted fennel is wonderful in a salad, and it's even better on a hot and crispy crust. The dry pecorino was light and unobtrusive enough to season the pizza with a light salty touch. I think this one definitely makes it into our top ten.

Confetti Cauliflower, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Salsa Verde

Sort of looks like a crusted acid trip, doesn't it? This is probably the most lurid pizza I've ever eaten. Purple cauliflower is wild cauliflower and chock-full of lovely health-giving thingies. The purple color is the result of anthocyanins -- the same antioxidant found in red wine -- which is just one more benefit to add to the vitamin C, folate, and fiber already present and accounted for. The salsa verde seemed to be more of a gremolata (lemon, garlic, parsley), because I think of salsa verdes as much looser and wetter, was bright and fresh and helped counter the richness of the roasted cauliflower. A clear winner.

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