Over the past few years I've found myself bringing my pizza habit down to the basics--a simple margherita pizza, no meat, no extras. Somehow the combo of light, chewy crust, good tomato sauce, great cheese in the right combination just does it for me. (Oh, and don't forget some fresh basil as the pie comes out of the oven.)
My favorite in the East Bay is at Bucci's. Every time I go there I tell myself I'm going to try something else on the menu, but I simply can't resist that margherita pizza. Got one tonight to go and it was fabulous, though it lost somthing in transit. My only complaint is that they spread all the tomato sauce in the middle, leaving the outside with cheese only, but it's easy enough to spread the sauce around.
Another place I like the margherita pizza is a Cugini's on Solano. They tend to put fresh tomato slices on top even when tomatoes are out of season, which I don't get, but it's easy enough to pick the tomato off, and the rest of the pizza is perfect.
I went to Pizaiola when they first opened, very excied about the mozzarella di bufala margherita, but it arrived at the table cold and needed more cheese. Now that they're taking reservations, I want to go back, because after reading the raves here I'm sure my pizza there was not typical.
The margherita that really sticks in my mind was one I had in Venice. It was made with mozzarella di bufala and came with a sea of cheese that was almost the consistency of fondu. The cheese was so runny that it would start to fall off the crust as I brought it to my mouth, but oh my god it was good! Like nothing I've ever tasted.
Other East Bay margherita recommendations?
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