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diVine Pizza, Healdsburg

Melanie Wong | Jan 3, 2004 03:15 AM

Last weekend I stopped into this small, family-run restaurant for the first time. BobG had already recommended the pastas, so I thought I’d try the pizza. The offerings also include a number of sandwiches (e.g., classic meatball), salads, calzones, and a children’s menu.

A couple of kids were playing cards, drawing, and playing with the small toys in caddies provided by the restaurant. It smelled good inside and the customers looked happy. Then I noticed the wine bottles on display, sold by the glass: Marietta Old Vine Cuvee, Seghesio Zin, Dry Creek Vineyards Heritage Zin. Nice, someone has scouted out some better than usual pizza wines for this place.

Keeping it simple, I ordered a small margherita pizza, $8.99 and a glass of wine. The crust was thinnish and nicely blistered. The owner had made a point to tell me that the dough was made fresh each day and hand-stretched, unlike the competition in town. The crust was chewy and full of tiny air bubbles on the crisp surface and uneven voids and pockets within. A little bland (needed more salt?), yet I liked the texture enough that I ate the edges. It was a little underdone in the center.

The tomato sauce was clean-tasting, unsweetened, not too salty and not overly thickened. In California style, there was too much cheese for my taste, but at least it was good quality whole milk mozzarella. The fresh basil leaves were turned crystalline and crackly by the high heat. Sweet and velvety soft strips of intensely flavored sun-dried tomato made me wonder why others handle these so badly. Good basic ingredients here.

The wine was the 2001 Rusina Alexander Valley Zinfandel, $7. I chose it because I was not familiar with the label. It was very rich and concentrated with high alcohol and stewy, overripe flavors turning pruney in the finish. Not my style, but one that's bound to popular.

All in all, a good value for a quick and wholesome meal in the wine country and especially well-suited for families. Dine-in, delivery, carry-out, and catering are all available.

diVine Pizza
150 Vine St.
(same strip mall as Safeway and Wells Fargo)
Healdsburg
707-433-3660
Sun-Thur, 11am-9pm
Fri-Sat, 11am-10pm

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