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A tale of two pizzas - Piaci in Fort Bragg and Diavola in Geyserville

m
michaelw Sep 4, 2013 08:33 PM

We were up in Fort Bragg over the long weekend to ride the Skunk Train with our two year old and had the chance to try two excellent - and extremely different - pizzerias. First we hit Piaci in downtown Fort Bragg. It's tiny, with just a few tables and a small bar. During happy hour you can get a 20 oz beer for just four dollars. And not Bud -- several worthy choices from the likes of North Coast, Speakeasy, and Stone. The pizza is quite thin, with a good crisp on the bottom. Not at all artsy/Neapolitan, but solid. I'd be happy to eat it again. Piaci has a great local vibe with just a smattering of us out-of-towners.

Diavola, on the other hand, is firmly within the Bay Area orbit of artisanal pizza, with a full range of glamorous options. They also have a wide range on non-pizza items, including house made charcuterie. And much more of a tourist vibe including, on our visit, a massive group of young ladies enjoying, at top volume, what appeared to be a bridal shower. I liked our Margherita but also found it annoying. The cheese all clumped together, so if you weren't careful, which I wasn't, it all came sliding off the slice at once. Nice blistering on the crust. We also tried the milk-braised pork and polenta ravioli. Top notch, although perhaps excessively buttery on the sauce. Our waitress asked us if "We wanted some wine to pair with that" which was one of the odder upselling attempts I've experienced.

Of the two, I felt more at home in Piaci, although the pizza is probably better at Diavola. Can't beat the $4 big pints at Piaci, though.

  1. j
    jaiko Sep 5, 2013 10:19 AM

    Thanks, nice to know there's a good little place in Ft. Bragg. On our recent trip in May we were crushed by a terrible revisit to Cafe Beaujolais and good-not-great MacCallum House. With Rendezvous and the old Le Petit Rive now closed, there's very few good dining choices in the area now.

    For those heading up to Mendo via 128, seems there's a new place opening up in Philo: Inside Scoop has the starting details for Stone & Embers at the Madrone Resort, Philo, opening Sept 2013 with an artisanal pizza/beer menu: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaiko
      t
      tom246 Sep 5, 2013 11:12 AM

      If one passes through Philo and doesn't stop at Libby's, they have committed a sin :)

      Best Carnitas Ever!!

      Separately, Diavola is our favorite overall restaurant in Sonoma County. Pure rustic Italian that would have waiting lines in any major city. Surprised the OP felt a tourist vibe, we love it because it is so laid back and unassuming, almost too much on occasion.

    2. Tripeler Sep 5, 2013 09:02 PM

      Piaci sounds great. An Imperial Pint (20 oz) for four dollars is a bargain anywhere. Pizza sounds great, too.

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