Is Chez Panisse pizza one of America's 10 best?
- Xiao Yang Mar 8, 2008 06:05 AM
NBC did a feature on America's 10 best pizzas and put CP, along with Pizza Bianco in Phoenix and Mozza in LA in the same league as the east coast pizza axis heavies. The report, with a mouth watering slide show, is on-line at:
I also had a Calzone there in June, 1986. I don't recall anything particularly memorable about it either. I think I was more impressed that the Cafe had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap even way back then. (I recall the date, though, because I took my daughter there for lunch on her HS graduation day...)
Oh yeah, I'm a HUGE fan of Chez Panisse's pizza. I prefer non-red sauce pizzas that are thin-crust, light on toppings, and w/ abundant use of good olive oil. I'm not sure if their dough is similar to the recipe in Alice Waters' latest book, "The Art of Simple Food," but that recipe has become my gold standard for pizza dough these days. The key is a little rye flour, fair amount of EVOO, and proofing overnight. It is a dough of beauty and a dream to work with...
Photo of CP zucchini pizza from Oct. '06 dinner:
Photo of homemade pizza using Waters' dough recipe. Note that I made it heavier on toppings w/ red sauce to please the husband for Valentine's Day. :-) We decided it was the best result that I've had at making pizza at home in my regular oven.
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I can't say if CP's pizza is one of the 10 best in America, but I do love the style and the freshness of the ingredients. On my last visit to CP Cafe, the pizza with clams was really amazing. I also had a pizza with clams at Pizzeria Mozza in LA but didn't like it at all.
We had dinner there last week. We hit it off well with the waiter [we had some common ground] and while we were waiting for our main course, he came over and told us that the kitchen had made a "mistake" and would we like a pizza?
Always the accomodating foodies, we said yes. It was a treat made with potatoes, fontina and rosemary. It was really tasty and we enjoyed it.
While I am not sure it would beat our NY pizza that we grew up with and long for on an almost daily basis, it was delicious in its own way.
on another note.... I've been to Pizzaria Bianco in Phx twice in the last year. Did not live up to the hype... in my opinion. It was good, but my word, a 2 hour wait for pizza? Chez Panisse, Dopo, Cheese Board, Pizziola, even Antica had a better pie.
Bianco was good.... but I wasn't blown away.