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Pizzanostra -- opening report

Joan Kureczka | | Mar 20, 2009 08:17 AM

As it's in the nabe, we decided to check out the new Pizzanostra on their opening night. This is the latest offering from the folks who brought us Chez Papa, Chez Maman, etc. They've gone Italian/French Riviera this time with a pizzeria/osteria in the former Cafe Colour space, having brought on board a pizza guru who supposedly has been a high scorer in the Neapolitan pizza competitions in Italy each year.

While I don't have personal comparisons to A16 or others who claim Italian pizza genes, the Reine pizza we shared (like a Marguerita but with the addition of ham) was certainly the closest thing to the pizzas we also shared in Rome. There are quite a few choices, as well as two rolled versions called tronchetto and several others without cheese that sounded good, like a Marinara version that included tomato sauce, tuna and capers. The pizzas come out very quickly from the very hot 565 degree oven -- we sat at the counter by the oven and watched the procession of pies, which generally took about 4 minutes of firing. Crisp and delicious.

This place isn't just about pizza though -- there is a separate kitchen crew working on a whole range of antipasto, salads, vegetable sides and a few pastas, including a fresh clam linguine and a gnocchi that looked and (according to the guy next to us) tasted perfect. We enjoyed a generous, tasty and perfectly cooked frito misto with fennel, calamari (wonderfully tender) and fish -- delicious Italian tempura. Oh -- and cheese and salumi plates are available too. As well as house made gelato and sorbet, plus a couple other dessert items.

And for those hooked on Chez Maman burgers, this place has one too -- with gorgonzola.

Wines are all Italian and based on the Sardinian vermentino we enjoyed, excellent value ($7 a glass, but only $28 for the bottle -- needless to say, especially as we were on foot, we enjoyed the bottle at that price!)