In the past few months pizza has popped up more often on my radar. Is it just me or is the world of pizza (and wines to order with them) getting more interesting?
• A new pizzeria called Gialina opened in my neighborhood in San Francisco, making a crisp, Neapolitan style. I am crazy about their zucca pizza, thin slices of winter squash with sage and blobs of fresh ricotta.
• As part of an assignment to write about star chef Mario Batali's new restaurants in the west, I encountered his Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, where partner Nancy Silverton and her crew turn out blistery, wide-rimmed numbers like one with fresh white sardines on red pepper sauce.
• In New York recently, I had a sensational grilled pizza with truffle cheese at Accademia di Vino.
• Back here in San Francisco, at Delfina Pizzeria, I loved the broccoli rabe pizza with dried tomatoes and ricotta.
• A friend called me on his cell phone recently from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, where people wait three hours for a table, to rave about the margherita, the traditional tomato and cheese pizza from Naples. He said it was better than anything he had in Italy.
The simple slab of dough perfected in Naples has morphed into a stunning array of styles on this side of the Atlantic. And, with today's emphasis on high quality ingredients, a better understanding of what pizza is all about, and the move toward excellent ovens, we can safely say that never have so many Americans eaten such good pies.
Wine service was savvy at all these places. Although most of us don't want cellared treasures with the informality of pizza, the quality of the ingredients make a wine lover want something other than beer. The answer is a list of relatively inexpensive, easy-going wines like the soft, appealing reds from Puglia or fresh, tangy whites from Campania.
Which wine would depend on the toppings. Any wine goes with the dough. Just link your choice of vino to the pickled sardines or truffle cheese.
This pizza revolution started in 1980, when Chez Panisse in Berkeley opened its casual Café, and Spago in Los Angeles followed by making small, thin, crisp pizzas and topping them with something other than usual pepperoni, mushrooms and gloppy cheese. That morphed into chains such as California Pizza Kitchen and frozen products such as Wolfgang Puck Pizza. Now, it seems, anything goes.
Pulled pork pizza, anyone? I'm there.
I would be interested in hearing about places where you readers have found particularly inventive American or especially authentic Italian-style pizza.
Ryan Comazzetto — Seattle, WA — November 7, 2007 7:04pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — November 7, 2007 8:20pm ET
Jason Thompson — Foster City, CA — November 7, 2007 8:25pm ET
John Phinney — Manhattan, — November 7, 2007 10:59pm ET
Marcello Buontempo — November 8, 2007 4:11am ET
James Suckling — — November 8, 2007 11:30am ET
K & L Wine Merchants — November 8, 2007 11:30am ET
James Scoptur — WI — November 8, 2007 11:31am ET
Glenn Keeler — OC, CA — November 8, 2007 2:02pm ET
Vinideus In The Pearl — Portland, OR — November 8, 2007 8:50pm ET
Clifford Brantley Smith — Portland — November 9, 2007 10:48am ET
Mark Kashdan — Atlanta, GA — November 9, 2007 11:17am ET
Brad Kanipe — Atlanta — November 9, 2007 11:33am ET
Robert Wood — Reston, VA — November 10, 2007 7:45am ET
Michael Fiore — Michigan — November 10, 2007 1:58pm ET
Mark Horowitz — Brooklyn, USA — November 11, 2007 8:06pm ET
Ankur Rajpara — Falls Church, VA — November 11, 2007 9:36pm ET
R Lindemenn — Las Vegas, Nv — November 28, 2007 6:01pm ET
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