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PSA: Avoid the Truly Awful "Truffle" Pizza at Cipollina

MPH | Jan 25, 200802:02 PM

Right after I moved here, I enjoyed the bacon, arugula, and gorgonzola pizza at Cipollina a few times, even though I didn't love the crust (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/92679 ).

I recently returned there after a considerable absence. Pizzas are still half-price in the early evening (from about 3:30 until 5:30 P.M.), so I tried one with fresh rosemary, garlic, and truffle oil. This is usually a pizza bianco (white pizza—but no cheese) with plenty of rosemary sprigs, crushed garlic, and a generous amount of truffle oil on plain pizza dough. You need to really have good dough to showcase its flavor on a cheeseless pizza, which is far from a sure bet at Austin pizzerias. Truffle oil can also be of poor quality, but that wasn't the problem at Cipollina. In fact, I couldn't taste any truffle oil at all. The real offense was the extremely heavy dusting of cheap, granulated garlic that covered every inch of the pie. They used a base of standard shredded (not fresh) mozzarella on the pizza, too, but that powdery dusting of garlic was the dominant flavor. It was truly disgusting.

I also sampled a colleague's lamb sandwich, which someone recently praised on the Foodheads thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/410623 ). I didn't care for the flavor combination (too sweet) or the extremely oily focaccia-style bun that it came on. My colleague thought it was good enough. The stracciatelle soup tasted mainly like canned tomatoes and was not worth re-ordering, in my opinion.

I noticed that they've taken out the glass case of cold dishes in the front and the "dessert case" on the side. They still do take-out, though, so this is mainly a question of adopting a more bistro-like rather than Italian-takeout-shop ambience. The restaurant was about 1/4 full when I stopped by.

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