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Restaurants & Bars

Boot and Shoe Service (aka Pizzaiolo 2) open! (Oakland)

daveena | Dec 16, 200907:31 PM     36

For those of us who have been peering repeatedly and impatiently through the old DiBartolo's windows, the new Pizzaiolo offshoot in the Grand Lake neighborhood is open - and it's really good.

The menu is very similar to Pizzaiolo's, with the omission of their fresh pastas (I think the desserts are simpler too. I almost never make it to dessert at Pizzaiolo, so can't say for sure). Appetizers were excellent - we had super fresh sardines paired with beets, spicy cumin-flavored carrots, and yogurt, and a perfectly fried fritto misto of cauliflower, red onion, meyer lemon, and delicata squash.

I think the oven doesn't get quite as hot as Pizzaiolo's - the crusts are a bit less blistered and charred (which I think some people may actually prefer). The clam pizza was absolutely fantastic - big fat juicy clam bellies, chili, garlic, parsley, no red sauce. A dining companion who's spent 8 years of his life in New Haven had to admit it was better than any clam pizza he'd had there.

The squid pizza, one of my favorites at Pizzaiolo, wasn't quite as good - the squid was oversalted, and the seafood itself seemed less fresh. The beauty of this dish at Pizzaiolo is the seamless transition between aioli, squid, and crust, and they weren't quite able to achieve that here.

Cocktails were superb. I was happy to see that they have Pizzaiolo's outstanding house-made tonic hear as well, and given the much larger and more attractive bar space at Boot and Shoe, I plan to get my artisan G&Ts here from now on.

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