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Hot Italian (pizza, salad, weekend brunch), Emeryville Public Market - any reports?

Read some reviews on Yelp, what do the Hounds think of Hot Italian in Emeryville?

Hot Italian
Public Market
5959 Shellmound St, Emeryville

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  1. Haven't been to Emeryville yet, but here's my report on the Sacramento location for reference. It's good and does feel like being in Italy.

    1. I tried an 01 Bellucci with housemade fennel sausage, mozzarella, and dollops of fresh ricotta cheese. A little chewier than Neapolitan style, a little thicker and not as crisp or dark as Roman, very Italian flavors, definitely similar to some pizzas I've had in more northern parts of Italy. Great addition to the neighborhood, worth a detour if you like pizza the way they do it in Italy, thought not as close to my own personal taste as Bao'Necci.

      It's not in the food court, it's a separate space off the parking lot, next to Peet's. Large space.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Glad to hear that Hot Italian has translated well to Emeryville. Does this location sell bicycles as well?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          They have a few bicycles hanging up but I thought they were decoration. Somebody came in and asked if they would be showing some bicycle race, the answer was yes.

      2. On a related note, how did the renovation/remodel of Emeryville Public Market turn out? I heard it was an improvement but not much more.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          The food court? Looks the same to me. They're still working on some other parts of the building.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Thanks. I heard they made improvements to the food court. The only thing I noticed a few months back were better tables and seats.

        2. Out of curiosity, I tried the panino version of the #11 Ligabue (pesto, mozzarella, pinenuts,
          Pecorino Romano, tomato, greens, $9 vs. $14 for the pizza). Seemed like basically the same as the pizza but folded over and presumably with less toppings, so maybe twice as much bread as a typical panino. Very tasty but I'll stick with the pizza.

          1. Replying to a year-old post...

            Tried it. Really liked it. I had the same "Belluci" pie Robert Lauriston did. Mozzarella, fresh ricotta, sausage.

            I didn't think the ricotta added much, but the pizza was still good. I liked the chili oil provided on the table.

            This won't become my cornerstone pizza place, but I'll keep it in mind for the future--maybe after a movie at Bay Street.

            1. Wow- the pizza with smoked swordfish, arugula and lemon was a wonderful combination. I can't stop thinking about it. I don't think I've ever had lemon on a pizza before.

              The space itself isn't as stylish as the Sacramento location -- no bicycles for sale, no vespas, Kind of big and loud, but still a worthwhile destination.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Glencora

                haven't noticed smoked swordfish on a menu since a trattoria in Firenze. we're fortunate the Pacific catch has revived a little ; enjoyed a nice steak a few weeks ago that came from a Monterey boat.

                Hot Italian is now our sole source for carry out pizzas. one aspect of their old world style is their restraint on the quantity of toppings, and number of ingredients in the combinations, which is generally four or less not including sauce. the crust stays tender and flavorful after reheating, and the prices relative to quality are moderate.

                1. re: moto

                  A slice of my son's peperoni and olive pizza (the most conventional on the menu) reheated well for lunch. You're right, not a ton of toppings, but delicious.

                  Side note -- when my son asked for red pepper, the waiter pointed to the bottle of chile oil on the table. I guess red pepper isn't Italian? But as my son pointed out, the pizza was oily enough already.

                  1. re: Glencora

                    They have pepper flakes in Italy. I don't know what the deal is with this fad for chiles in oil.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I never saw chili flakes in my travels around Italy. Just that delicious chili oil. I will say, I prefer the chili flakes on my pizza, but if the chili oil is as good as the ones I got in Italy I would be happy. It is just never as good. And yes I have tried to make my own from dried peppers.

                      1. re: srr

                        When I lived in Rome, I bought chile flakes (perperoncino macinato) at the grocery store.

                        The Calabrian chile oil that's imported here is sometimes very good. Dried Calabrian peppers are available too. Both are quite regional, I never saw Calabrian peppers in Rome except at the house of a friend whose Calabrian grandmother sent them to her.


                    2. re: Glencora

                      Ouch, I mean pepperoni.

                      I didn't know chiles in oil was a fad.

                      My son's girlfriend had the salumi and cheese platter. It came with marcona almonds, really good olives and melon. Nicely presented and way more than she could eat.

                      1. re: Glencora

                        I'd never seen chile oil in a pizza place until a few years ago.

                        Might be a regional Italian thing, I don't know.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          During my work stints in the Geneva area during the 90s, every pizza place (run by Italians) had fresh chiles in oil and no red pepper flakes.

                          I didn't have pizza when I was in Ticino though so I don't know if this was a preference by the locals. With the UN right there, it would be strange not to serve what some Italians would want.

                2. Went to Hot Italian last Friday after failing to find parking at the Emeryville Lanesplitter. It was even better than my last visit in January. Had the Stella (proscuitto, mushrooms) and the Magini (smoked salmon, mascopone and dill), both big hits with our group (which included smoked salmon-obsessed kids, hence the second pie pick). The salami and cheese plate was a good value, if not particularly interesting. I had forgotten about the place and it is good to have in the mix.

                  1. I went for the first time in awhile last night. Pizza remains excellent, and they now have cocktails. The Wayfarer, square one cucumber vodka and san pellegrino limonata soda garnished with cucumber, was excellent, and a great deal at $6.

                    I find I can always find a seat even if it looks crowded. My server last night was particularly professional.

                    1. Got the BRIATORE (smoked mozzrella, fontina, crescenza, gorgonzola dolce cheese) to go. The cheese flavor was complex, nice. BUT next time I would ask them to not put the little plastic container of chile oil into the to-go box. The heat of the crust melted the plastic and I leaked oil all over my car, front walkway and living room carpet. Be warned. Otherwise, the pizza held up well as carry out. The crust is on the thicker side, and doesn't get soggy.