Restaurants & Bars

Greater Boston Area Pizza

Max and Leo's. Real pizza just off exit 17, Newton.


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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area Pizza

Max and Leo's. Real pizza just off exit 17, Newton.

hyde | | Nov 9, 2011 02:55 AM

Without looking to re-start the chicken wing wars, everyone has to admit that Buff's in Newton are among the best in boston area.
Now, 50 meters from Buff's front door is some of the best pizza,certainly in Newton and i have to say, in Boston proper.
Twin Newton raised brothers (not oddly, Max and Leo), have carved this labor of love into the washington street neighborhood with their hands and the actual sweat of there brow.
the 8000 pound coal oven from california required the removal of the rear of the building and the 15 foot high cut stone facade was laid by hand in what Max told me was "one of the worst months of my life"
The small (to be expanded) place is a wonderful mix of reclaimed Vermont doors, a skimmed wood bar and lighting fixtures that once resided on boats. painted in a deep red that works well with the blacks and wood feel. Harpoon i.p.a., UFO, and a couple others on tap. Guinness in cans and several more in bottles. italian sparkling water in bottles and the usual suspects in sodaland.
The coal burns wonderfully hot and even (witness, Pepe's and Grimaldi's) the temps inside are 900+ and even more to the point, 700 to 800 on the deck. Heaven. Fans at the top of the shaft pull excess heat off so the tops dont scorch before the bottom can get a nice char (my complaint with many a wood burning place).
My wife's white pizza with pear, ricotta, carmelized onions, prosciutto and a drizzle of honey was cooked pretty much to perfection, with some dark bits but still foldable. Straight up sausage had great cheese and the sausage had picked up bits of well done pork from the super heated air. Other combinations are interesting and worth exploring. Fresh tomato sauce, grilled chicken, roasted red pepper, red onion smoked and regular mozz , the BBQ pork pizza (with onions, smoked mozz, BBQ glaze) is made with pork sourced from Blue Ribbon. Max, a self described "veggie guy"is interested in some innovative preps like one with a mushroom base and elsewhere, roasted butternut squash with thyme.
Mercifully, the regular margarita is 9.95 and the 'roni 11.95. Oven roasted lemon rosemary wings and a couple of nice salads round out the simple, but thought out menu.
Concern with the quality of the product has made them decide to not do delivery currently, there was even a discussion about not doing take-out but cooler heads prevailed on that point. While i will concede that pizza is best right out of the oven, i love me a slice for breakfast the next day. One of my favorite places, Stella's in Watertown is tragic in this regard, it does not hold up well if not eaten fresh. Though it will pain Max greatly to hear, this stuff is good even cold (well, room temp.)
In true chowhound spirit i want to keep this place to myself but even more i want it to succeed, as pizza is in a poor state in newton, and quite honestly, north of the upper west side. Go, please.
Also, i believe i heard the owner say he might be closed on sundays for a while,so if that is your target a call might be in order to check., facebook, twitter, etc.