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what to order at Pizzaiolo?

walker Feb 8, 2007 01:02 PM

I've never been to Pizzaiolo and will be going on a Tuesday - have heard they only have the fried chicken on Fridays. So, what should I order?

  1. f
    foodeye May 31, 2007 10:46 AM

    I was at Pizzaiolo last night. We shared the spagetti with clams and sausage (good, not awesome), the little gem cesar salad (really great), a nettle frittata (too spongy, really weird dark green!) served with coppa, salami, olives and peppers, 2 pizzas, one with summer squash and basil oil (tasty) one with sausage and rapini (really tasty), and the only secondi of the day - pollo milanese (pounded breast, breaded and pan-fried; very good, and a huge portion) served with a lemon aioli and garnished with an arugula and beet salad (a bit over-salted). We shared two desserts: the grilled apriums with creme fraiche ice cream and a buttermilk panna cotta with roasted cherries, both of which were truly delicious.

    We sat outside so that raised voices were not required for conversation, and the heaters were great, but I sort of missed the music and buzz of the inside tables. Service was pretty good, but I regret, just a little, not insisting that my second glass of wine (a Sardinian red, $8 - I think it was the least expensive glass) be comped to make up for the nasty large chunks of tartrates or something at the bottom of the glass....I was too polite about it to the waiter, and he didn't offer compensate for it. All that food, plus the wine and a couple of cocktails came to a total check before tip of about $150. Bonus: there is some leftover pizza in my fridge for dinner tonight; I will reheat it in a cast iron skillet to recapture the great crisp crust.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodeye
      rabaja May 31, 2007 10:59 AM

      Nettles are in fact, a deep green color, and when cooked yield far less than when in a raw state. What you had was most likely packed with fresh nettle goodness, don't be scared, there isn't enough green food in the world.

      1. re: rabaja
        Robert Lauriston May 31, 2007 11:17 AM

        Quite true, the nettles people use around here are about the greenest natural ingredient I know.

        I keep hoping some local farmer will grow the Italian kind, which are sort of greenish-yellow with an artichoke flavor.

      2. re: foodeye
        wolverine61 May 31, 2007 11:26 AM

        Please, we is how many?

        1. re: foodeye
          The Dive Jun 1, 2007 01:41 PM

          We went on Wednesday night as well and I have to differ with one thing in particular -- we thought the spaghetti with clams and sausage were fantastic...definitely the best pasta dish we had so far at the restaurant. It was just so amazingly flavorful, but looked like it had no sauce at all. Also loved the sand dabs with the so'ar onions, currents and pine nuts; and the pizza (al Pizzaiolo -- the pizzamaker's choice...it was squid and sausage...we felt extremely lucky). Those apriums were great, especialy with the suggested rum as a pairing.

        2. c
          chemchef May 15, 2007 03:31 PM

          The best meal I've had there consisted of pizza margherita (awesome), meatballs al pizzaiolo, and rapini with garlic and chili. This is now my husband and my "go to" order when we go there and don't know what to get.

          The desserts are also great, that is if you have room after trying all the dishes!

          1. Robert Lauriston May 15, 2007 02:54 PM

            Had a few new dishes last night:

            Pizza with tomato sauce, squid, and aioli. Strange-sounding combination but worked well.

            Creamed chard--seemed like lightly blanched, then finished in the wood oven with a bit of cream and cheese. Wonderful.

            Ceci "ragu," chickpeas simmered in ... I'm not sure what. Sort of like an Italian answer to chana masala.

            Wood-oven-baked aprium halves with chestnut-honey-rosemary gelato, drizzled with a little more chestnut honey, and served with a cookie-like thing. I'm looking forward to trying more of that pastry chef's desserts.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              The Dive May 29, 2007 02:49 PM

              I have to put in a second for the squid pizza -- had it last week. Definitely the best pizza we've ever had with seafood (although our server told us that any time the clam pizza is on the menu, to order with sausage added). Also had to give a good word to the Rye Manhattan -- I know others have put down the drink-making capabilities of Pizzaiola, but I've had nothing but strong, creative drinks there.

            2. Morton the Mousse Feb 8, 2007 02:00 PM

              -Anything with Heritage Pork (usually Berkshire or Red Wattle) especially the belly if they have it. Skip the Niman. If the pork source isn't listed on the menu, ask your server.

              -Anything fried

              -Salads (esp. the Ceaser)

              -I agree with others that the pasta is usually the dish to skip (though they make excellent gnocchi and ravioli)

              -Gotta get one contorni - great value and it rounds out the meal

              -Save room for dessert - the new pastry chef is awesome

              Funny how much consensus there is on this subject.

              Enjoy, and report back.

              1. o
                OakTownHound Feb 8, 2007 01:09 PM

                Stick to pizzas, antipasti and secondi. Pastas are fine but not outstanding -- skip them.

                As far as what to order: Any pizza, especially those with house-made sausage or salumi. Anything from the wood over, especially squid. And of course, you must get the meatballs. If they aren't on the menu, just ask -- they usually have some available.

                Antipasti are pretty much universally great. Contorni are a great deal as well -- my favorites are the bitter and, when they have them, beans from the wood oven (usually in a unctous, rich broth with a splash of oil and crispy bread crumbs).

                1 Reply
                1. re: OakTownHound
                  JasmineG Feb 8, 2007 01:50 PM

                  I agree with the above. Also, I wouldn't be so sure the fried chicken won't be on the menu, I've never been there on a Friday night, and I've seen it on the menu quite a few times on other nights (Thursdays and Saturdays, particularly). The meatballs are great, and I love the potato and pancetta pizza. I agree that the pastas should be skipped; there's nothing wrong with them, but the rest of their stuff is better. And make sure to save room for dessert, their new pastry chef is great.

                2. susancinsf Feb 8, 2007 01:06 PM


                  6 Replies
                  1. re: susancinsf
                    katya May 29, 2007 03:42 PM

                    Are the meatballs pork or beef or other?

                    1. re: katya
                      Morton the Mousse May 29, 2007 04:27 PM


                      1. re: Morton the Mousse
                        chemchef May 30, 2007 07:23 AM

                        All pork? Hmmm, I would've thought otherwise.

                        1. re: chemchef
                          Robert Lauriston May 30, 2007 09:37 AM

                          I wouldn't hazard a guess, but there's rarely any red meat other than pork listed on the menu.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            chemchef May 30, 2007 10:32 AM


                          2. re: chemchef
                            Morton the Mousse May 30, 2007 10:39 AM

                            They aren't *all* pork; there are other, non-meat ingredients. But the only meat is pork. Usually Niman, sometimes Heritage. I've asked. Charlie isn't big on veal, and beef rarely appears on the menu.

                    2. Robert Lauriston Feb 8, 2007 01:05 PM

                      Anything from the oven or fryer. Arancini, roast squid or whatever they're doing that night, pizza. Definitely get an order of greens.

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