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Restaurants & Bars 3

David's Sandbar

Seth Zurer | Mar 24, 200302:10 PM

This place opened in the old Gaea space on Irving Park just east of Damen. It's the same owner and (i think) chef as gaea. I had never been to this place when it was Gaea, and according to eponymous David, after summer broke out nobody else went either. So they changed the configuration and the focus from gourmet restaurant to night spot with gourmet sandwiches.

I've been three times now: two sandwiches and a pizza. Firt of all, they use very good bread -- crusty without being tough, toothsome and tasty. I had a sort of noveau italian sub with salami capicolla and mixed greens with a jalapeno aioli on a very good sub roll. I had a tasty roast beef sandwich on a crusty white sandwich roll, with the same good mixed greens and non-awful mass market shredded mozzrella.

Then today for lunch I tried one of their pizzas, which to my shock and awe, didn't suck.

They made me a very pleasant 14 inch pizza with dough that was hand tossed to order, cooked on a stone in one of their sandwich ovens. It had a crispy crust, that made the approriate segue from crunchy to tender as you moved up the cross section. there were blackened bubbles around a raised edge. It had a good tangy tomato sauce, fresh basil and very good domestic buffalo mozzarella added at the last minute so it just started to melt and sweat. It's not great pizza, but it's better than Gigio's and comes closer to matching what I want when I go out for pizza than Pizza DOC for example.

Anyway -- i haven't gone through the whole menu, and I haven't done exhaustive double blind studies, but all indications are that this place is worth further investigation. Plus, the owner tipped me off to a pizza place in the suburbs called Barnaby's and seemed willing to twalk pizza seriously. SO that's a point in their favor. I'd like to loose the hounds on this place to get a more rounded idea of whether or not I'm blinded by my appreciation of non-awful pizza, or if this place is actually as good as I think it may be.

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