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Pizza from wood-burning ovens

Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2010 07:26 AM

So many places have opened I wonder if I've missed some. I'll post my list in a reply so the topic doesn't open with a soon-to-be-out-of-date list.

  1. Melanie Wong Feb 2, 2010 10:59 PM

    South Bay:
    Tomato-Thyme, San Jose

    Anyone tried the pizza here?

    Tomato Thyme-Willow Glen
    1560 Hamilton Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

    1. v
      vulber Feb 2, 2010 10:23 PM

      probably also relevant to mention that jon darsky, the flour + water pizzaiolo, is leaving to start his own pizza place with a wood-burning oven

      1. tvham Jan 18, 2010 03:06 PM


        1. Melanie Wong Jan 13, 2010 05:57 PM

          East Bay
          La Piazza - Orinda
          Pizzeria Amoroma - Orinda
          Faz - Pleasanton, Danville
          Lark Creek - Walnut Creek
          Tomatina - Walnut Creek, Alameda, Dublin
          Il Fornaio - Walnut Creek
          Prima Ristorante - Walnut Creek
          Chow - Danville, Lafayette

          Prima Ristorante
          1522 North Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596

          Nizza La Bella
          827 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

          53 Lafayette Cir, Lafayette, CA 94549

          Il Fornaio
          1430 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94596

          445 Railroad Ave, Danville, CA

          Faz Restaurant & Bar
          5121 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588

          Faz Restaurant & Bar
          600 Hartz Avenue, Danville, CA 94526

          Lark Creek Walnut Creek
          1360 Locust Street, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

          Pizzeria Amoroma
          65 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA 94563

          La Piazza
          15 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA 94563

          3 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            tomatoaday Jan 14, 2010 07:39 AM

            Tomatina's ovens are gas fired Woodstones, not wood. Pizza Antica's are also gas fired, not sure of any others mentioned.

            1. re: tomatoaday
              Melanie Wong Jan 17, 2010 07:28 PM

              Thanks for the correction. I saw so many customer refs to tomatinas wood oven, I didn't take the time to verify the info with the restaurants. just shows how much confusion there is out there. All the others are from the company website.

            2. re: Melanie Wong
              Melanie Wong Feb 3, 2010 07:22 PM

              East Bay
              Taheri's Mediterranean, Walnut Creek

              And, when it opens Locanda da Eva in Berkeley.

              Taheri's Mediterranean Restaurant
              2999 Oak Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

            3. rworange Jan 13, 2010 12:41 PM

              Chez Spencer, the original location of Citizen Cake, has a wood-burning oven. However, being oriented to French food, pizza-type dishes aren't often featured.

              1. s
                SteveG Jan 12, 2010 10:05 AM

                If you include Il Fornaio and Piatti, you may as well include Chow. Never quite earth shattering, but always satisfying.

                1. Melanie Wong Jan 9, 2010 03:18 PM

                  PizzaHacker http://thepizzahacker.com/

                  564 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    Melanie Wong Jan 13, 2010 06:21 PM

                    Pizza Nostra
                    Park Chow

                    816 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94107

                    Park Chow
                    1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

                    215 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                    Il Fornaio
                    1265 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    Bistro Don Giovanni
                    4110 Howard Ln, Napa, CA

                    Pizza Nostra
                    300 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA

                    Flour + Water
                    2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1257 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      Melanie Wong Jan 17, 2010 05:54 PM

                      Palio d'Asti

                      Palio D' Asti
                      640 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

                    2. Melanie Wong Jan 9, 2010 03:11 PM

                      Donato Enoteca, Redwood City
                      Pronto Rotisserie & Pizzeria, Redwood City
                      Cafe Silan, Menlo Park
                      La Strada, Palo Alto
                      Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, Palo Alto
                      Howie's Artisan Pizza, Palo Alto
                      Oregano's, Los Altos
                      Woodie, catering

                      La Strada
                      335 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                      Cafe Silan
                      867 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

                      Mayfield Bakery & Cafe
                      855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                      Donato Enoteca
                      1041 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

                      Wood Fire Woodie
                      3333 S El, Camino Real San Mateo, CA

                      Pronto Rotisserie & Pizzeria
                      2560 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94061

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        Shane Greenwood Jan 10, 2010 08:21 AM

                        Wood Fire Woodie has that address listed, however they do not have an actual location. They are only catering these days.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          bbulkow Jan 10, 2010 08:47 AM

                          And, arguably, Cafe Silan doesn't serve pizza. Kurdish flatbread is far more interesting and better than pizza!

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            Melanie Wong Feb 2, 2010 10:01 PM

                            Another for the Peninsula would be Babbo's in the Stanford Shopping Center.

                          2. Melanie Wong Jan 9, 2010 03:05 PM

                            North Bay
                            Diavola, Geyserville
                            Monti's Rotisserie, Santa Rosa
                            Jackson's Oven, Santa Rosa
                            Pizzavino 707, Sebastopol
                            Manzanita, Healdsburg
                            Kashaya, farmers markets
                            Pizza Politana, farmers markets
                            Rosso mobile, farmers markets

                            Monti's Rotisserie & Bar
                            714 Village Ct, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

                            Kashaya's Brick Oven Pizza
                            Santa Rosa, CA, Santa Rosa, CA

                            Pizza Politana
                            91 Rocca Drive, Petaluma, CA

                            Pizza Vino 707
                            6948 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              Melanie Wong Jan 11, 2010 09:14 PM

                              North Bay
                              Swiss Hotel - Sonoma
                              Estate - Sonoma
                              El Dorado Kitchen - Sonoma
                              Carneros Bistro - Sonoma
                              Seafood Peddler - San Rafael
                              Small Shed Flatbreads - Mill Valley
                              Evan Shively, catering - Marshall
                              Cantinetta Piero - Yountville
                              Mammarella - Napa
                              Boskos Trattoria - Calistoga
                              Bistros des Copains - Occidental
                              Gold Coast - Duncans Mill
                              Skyhawk Village Market - Santa Rosa

                              Pizzeria Picco
                              320 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA 94939

                              Small Shed Flatbreads
                              17 Madrona St, Mill Valley, CA 94941

                              Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar
                              53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA

                              Gold Coast Coffee & Bakery
                              25101 Steelhead Blvd, Duncans Mills, CA

                              Swiss Hotel & Restaurant
                              18 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476

                              Bosko's Trattoria
                              1364 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515

                              400 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476

                              Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar
                              1325 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476

                              630 Airpark Road, Napa, CA

                              Seafood Peddler
                              100 Yacht Club Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901

                              El Dorado Kitchen & Hotel
                              405 1st St W, Sonoma, CA 95476

                              Skyhawk Village Market
                              5755 Mountain Hawk Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95409

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                shanghaikid Jan 17, 2010 07:16 PM

                                personally saw the brick oven at pizzeria picco and they burnt the pizza! the pizza at rosso was thin and tasted wood cooked but i didn't look for it though i was there.

                                1. re: shanghaikid
                                  Melanie Wong Jan 17, 2010 07:26 PM

                                  With the exception of Tomatina, all the places I've listed here are based on my personal visits and/or from the establishment's own website.

                            2. rworange Jan 9, 2010 08:25 AM

                              Yountville - opened in December - Cantinetta Piero at the Hotel Luca

                              1. farmersdaughter Jan 8, 2010 04:00 PM

                                I believe Pizza Politana, who come to the Thursday Ferry Building Farmers' Market, has a wood oven.

                                1. steve h. Jan 8, 2010 01:25 PM

                                  I like what Tony Gemignani has done at Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Any word on what Anthony Mangieri, late of Una Pizza Napoletana in Manhattan, is up to? Last I heard, he was planning a place in SOMA. That info has to be at least six-months old now.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: steve h.
                                    Robert Lauriston Jan 9, 2010 07:21 AM

                                    Only three months old: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                  2. e
                                    ernie in berkeley Jan 8, 2010 12:29 PM

                                    East Bay: West Berkeley Bowl.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: ernie in berkeley
                                      10foot5 Jan 8, 2010 01:06 PM

                                      That pizza may be from a wood oven but the one I had was beyond awful. Dough was raw underneath the soggy tomato slices. Crust was thin but flavorless. Sauce pedestrian. Never again.

                                      1. re: 10foot5
                                        ernie in berkeley Jan 8, 2010 01:38 PM

                                        How long ago was this? They didn't have the permit for the wood stove until early December. That said, the pie I had a couple of weeks ago wasn't so great, not soggy, though.

                                        1. re: ernie in berkeley
                                          Robert Lauriston Jan 9, 2010 07:19 AM

                                          They were burning wood in it yesterday. Did they have to install a special scrubber or something? The emissions controll law that the city passed in 2001 was generally reported as being effectively a ban on new wood ovens in restaurants.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                            ernie in berkeley Jan 9, 2010 09:50 AM

                                            No idea, but it is striking that there's no aroma of wood burning, inside or outside.

                                            1. re: ernie in berkeley
                                              Robert Lauriston Jan 9, 2010 10:27 AM

                                              I smelled it inside.

                                          2. re: ernie in berkeley
                                            10foot5 Jan 11, 2010 02:55 PM

                                            My experience was well before December. Thanks for the clarification.

                                            I probably won't bother trying again though - I've been pretty disappointed across the board with food from West Berkeley Bowl Cafe. (I've had pizza, Cuban sandwich, grilled cheese, sausage sandwich).

                                      2. j
                                        jsaimd Jan 8, 2010 11:28 AM

                                        Well i am not saying this list all has the best piiza, but more from Peninsula/South bay:

                                        Amici's (multiple locations) - actually not sure it is wood fired or not
                                        Howie's Artisan Pizza (Palo Alto)
                                        Willow Street (San Jose)
                                        Pizza Antica (multiple locations) - I think it is a wood oven??
                                        Cafe Silan (Menlo Park)

                                        And I can't even eat pizza...I just drool over everyone elses experiences...

                                        13 Replies
                                        1. re: jsaimd
                                          Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2010 12:08 PM

                                          Amici's and Anatica both use the confusingly named (perhaps deliberately so) Wood Stone brand gas ovens.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                            tomatoaday Jan 8, 2010 12:39 PM

                                            I don't think it was a deliberate misnomer. The web site shows a large variety of deck and traditional dome style ovens. I believe they originally burned wood and then as gas became more popular, both for ease of use and emission control, first required conversions to use gas and are now produced to use both fuel sources. It is pretty clear when you look into them which are fuled by burning logs and which have flames coming from piping around the edge of the cooking deck. I have had good to great pizza from both, as well as impingers, Roto Flexes, coal, brick lined and decks. After all, ovens are tools, same as knives and saute pans.

                                            1. re: tomatoaday
                                              Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2010 12:45 PM

                                              Maybe it's not deliberate, at least on the part of the manufacturer, but it clearly leads to confusion. You can't hear the capitalization when a waiter tells you, "Our pizzas come from a Wood Stone oven."

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                a_and_w Jan 10, 2010 07:38 AM

                                                Count me among the confused. That's super shady.

                                            2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                              SanJoseHound Jan 9, 2010 08:14 AM

                                              I've had Amici's and Pizza Antica and they have just been so-so, meh. Willow Street doesn't do anything for me either. Maybe I'm just a picky pizza eater? But my first experience at Oliveto Cafe, my first bite of the egg/arugula pizza with added pancetta, I was in love. I want pizza like that. I am officially jealous of the East Bay.

                                              1. re: SanJoseHound
                                                Scott M Jan 12, 2010 11:01 AM

                                                From your recent pizza experiences, it looks like you are in the North Bay area. Your best bet in that area is to try Picco Pizzeria in Larkspur. Probably the closest to the East Bay pie you will find in that neck of the woods.

                                                1. re: Scott M
                                                  SanJoseHound Jan 12, 2010 07:06 PM

                                                  I live and work in San Jose. I've had Amici's in San Jose, Pizza Antica at Santana Row, and Willow Street in Willow Glen.

                                                  1. re: Scott M
                                                    Melanie Wong Jan 13, 2010 10:17 AM

                                                    Well, I'd say Rosso or Pizza Vino 707 (which is owned by Stephen Singer).

                                                    Is Ubuntu in Napa still making pizza at lunch time? Does Bistro Don Giovanni bake the pizzas in the wood fired oven?

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      Dave.Pitinga Jan 13, 2010 12:15 PM

                                                      Bistro Don Giovanni uses wood. Good pie.

                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                        hhc Jan 13, 2010 05:38 PM

                                                        No more pizza at Ubuntu & no cauliflower in cast iron pot - so sad. I went on 1/2/10 and those two items were my reasons for trying it.

                                                        1. re: hhc
                                                          bbulkow Jan 13, 2010 08:54 PM

                                                          Odd story. During the summer, I was bicycling in Napa, envisioning my evening reservation at Ubuntu, and I met a guy by the side of the road who said the Cauliflower was no longer great. They didn't have the cauliflower on the menu that night, but since I had been warned off, I didn't miss it.

                                                          There's a serious tension between presenting a well known menu and using your daily ingredients. A restaurant like Ubuntu that's presenting a casual face has an even worse problem, because people expect a menu that's not constantly shifting.

                                                          We have to let Ubuntu continue to shift and find their place - I enjoy watching them grow and change.

                                                          1. re: bbulkow
                                                            Robert Lauriston Jan 14, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                            People who go to Ubuntu should expect a constantly changing menu, since (1) it's driven entirely by what's in season and what they get from their garden, and (2) it has been changing daily since they opened. Plus a restaurant doesn't keep its Michelin star by being stuck in a rut.

                                                            I asked about the cauliflower when we ate there the other night, and the server said something like "never say never."

                                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    shanghaikid Jan 17, 2010 06:55 PM

                                                    was at pizza antica, lafayette, recently, their "stove" isn't wood but definitely aluminum.
                                                    remember seeing the name "wood oven" on the nameplate. crust was chewy, not so thin. pizza a disappointment. place was packed, people didn't care/lnow.

                                                2. v
                                                  vulber Jan 8, 2010 09:03 AM

                                                  It's not technically pizza, but NOPA's flatbread is nearly the same thing

                                                  1. Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2010 07:26 AM

                                                    Flour + Water
                                                    Il Fornaio
                                                    Local Kitcnen + Wine Merchant
                                                    Rose Pistola
                                                    Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                    Zuni Cafe (lunch only)

                                                    East Bay
                                                    Cafe at Chez Panisse - Berkeley
                                                    Cugini - Albany
                                                    Marzano - Oakland (two locations)
                                                    Nizza - Albany
                                                    Oliveto - Oakland
                                                    Paradiso - San Leandro
                                                    Pizzaiolo - Oakland

                                                    North Bay
                                                    Cucina - San Anselmo
                                                    Piatti - Mill Valley
                                                    Picco Pizzeria - Larkspur
                                                    Poggio - Sausalito
                                                    Rosso - Santa Rosa
                                                    Tra Vigne - St. Helena

                                                    Contra Costa County
                                                    Pizza Amoroma - Orinda

                                                    Zuni Cafe
                                                    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                    5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                                                    2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

                                                    Chez Panisse
                                                    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                    Rose Pistola
                                                    532 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133-2802

                                                    Cugini Restaurant
                                                    1556 Solano Ave, Albany, CA

                                                    777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

                                                    625 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941

                                                    Oliveto Cafe
                                                    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                                    Tra Vigne Restaurant
                                                    1050 Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA 94574

                                                    Paradiso Restaurant
                                                    685 Bancroft Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577

                                                    4214 Park Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94602

                                                    Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                    1570 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                                    510 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, CA 94960

                                                    Paradiso Restaurant
                                                    17007 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94546

                                                    Oliveto Restaurant
                                                    5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                      arlenemae Jan 8, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                      How about the south bay?

                                                      1. re: arlenemae
                                                        ML8000 Jan 8, 2010 11:42 AM

                                                        Applewood Pizza
                                                        Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                        Willow Street Pizza

                                                        Applewood Inn
                                                        1001 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94301

                                                        Willow Street Pizza
                                                        1554 Saratoga Ave Ste P401, San Jose, CA 95129

                                                        Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                        855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                                                        1. re: ML8000
                                                          Shane Greenwood Jan 8, 2010 06:05 PM

                                                          Applewood is not South Bay, it is in Menlo Park and they do not have a wood burning oven.

                                                          Mayfield Cafe in Palo Alto does have a wood burning oven and they have pizza on the menu, although they are not a pizza place. I have not tried the pizza there but did like the other dishes.

                                                          1. re: ML8000
                                                            Shane Greenwood Jan 8, 2010 06:17 PM

                                                            Oregano's Wood-Fired Pizza in Los Altos

                                                            Oregano's Wood-Fired Pizza
                                                            4546 El, Camino Real Los Altos, CA

                                                            1. re: ML8000
                                                              Dave.Pitinga Jan 12, 2010 10:46 AM

                                                              We ate at Howie's Artisan Pizza yesterday in the Town and Country Shopping Center in Palo Alto. His oven is not wood-burning, according to the waiter we had. But Howie sure makes some fine pizza. We had two: the one with the Fresno chili, sheared red onion, and house-made pancetta and the one with the broccoli raab/rabe/rapini and house-made fennel sausage. Both were excellently conceived and executed with primo ingredients. The space is cool, too, minimally decorated for the holidays. Much more more SF than Hobee's. We didn't have any wine. But he seems to have a good selection relative to his menu. (La Pizzeria in Campbell has a wood-burning stove: http://www.campbellpizza.com/index.php?page=about_la_pizzeria; but the ingredients don't seem to compare to Howie's. Pizza Antica uses gas like Howie's, to my knowledge: http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-03-19...


                                                              Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                              855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                                                          2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                            wally Jan 8, 2010 08:11 AM

                                                            Does Boot and Shoe Service have a wood-burning oven?

                                                            1. re: wally
                                                              Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2010 08:15 AM

                                                              They do, thanks.

                                                              1. re: wally
                                                                10foot5 Jan 8, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                                Tried Boot and Shoe service for the first time 2 days ago. Got a Marinara (w/ anchovies) and a Chanterelle, both to go. Superb. Crust was perfectly charred and wonderfully chewy. Seemed like there was a little more salt in the dough than at Pizzaolo. Perfect, to my taste. Might edge out Dopo as my weekly pizza from now on - too soon to say. Tossed green salads were fine, nicely dressed.

                                                                I also liked that they have a phone option for takeout only (hit 2). I always feel like I'm asking Dopo for a favor when I request pizza to go. (Don't get me wrong, they are always friendly and courteous, even when they are too busy to field a takeout order.)

                                                              2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                Ruth Lafler Jan 8, 2010 08:40 AM

                                                                Doesn't Restaurant B (the Oakland location) have a wood burning oven? What about the mobile ovens at various farmers markets?

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                  Robert Lauriston Jan 8, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                                  Oh yeah, how did I forget B?

                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                    Ruth Lafler Jan 8, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                    Yeah, how did you? :-) I was wondering if I was wrong, since I know you like the place.

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