Sunday, January 10, 2016

Welcome to a Permanent Home Pizza Tonight

Pizza Tonight now provides your favorite pizza along with other delectable offerings in a non-mobile location. The old Aziza's received a much-needed makeover. The exterior is painted a smart black with red accents. The big brick wall that had divided the dining room from the kitchen is gone, making way for more dining space, a longer bar, and a pizza oven up front. The restrooms have doubled and look fabulous.

Pizza Tonight
Pizza Tonight Entrance
We arrived early on a Friday evening with two nephews in tow: one who likes to try different things and one who is so picky we weren't sure if he would order anything. Reservations are only taken for large parties, so early dining was optimal since after 7 PM there were no seats left.

Pizza Oven
Wood-fired Oven
While cocktails beckoned to us (barrel aged negronis, spritzes, etc.) we gravitated to wine (or water for my nephews). Pizza Tonight has an all-Italian list with many offered by the glass. The Morellino di Scansano worked well with our meal.

The Pizza Tonight menu held an abundance of deliciousness. The wood-fired oven in the front is reserved for pizzas, but the oven in the back is for other dishes, like Charred Octopus with White Beans and Sugartoads with Bagna Cauda. We stuck to more of the basics for starters: Lamb and Pork Meatballs and Burrata with Caponata and Arugula. Neither nephew had tasted lamb before and, surprisingly, both tried the meatballs and wolfed them down. Big and meaty with a delicately spicy tomato sauce. The cheese dish had one nephew raving and the other one avoiding the dish at all costs. For myself, this was my favoprite dish. Of course, the creamy fresh ball of cheese is always delicious. The arugula added a slight pungency. The roasted red pepper caponata was the star. Dressed in just enough vinegar and tossed with capers - a perfected sweet-sour balance. One recommendation - offer an order of wood-fired or grilled rustic bread as an optional accompaniment.

But we were really here for the pizza and, yes, the pizza was delicious. We ordered a variety of pies - Margherita; Sausage, Tomato, Rapini, and Ricotta;  Caprese, Fennel, and Tomato; and Potato, Rosemary, Chiles, and Grano Padano.

No matter how the pizzas are topped, the crust is all important. The Pizza Tonight crust arrived thin with just the right crunch on the bottom to stand up to the toppings and just the right chew when devouring. The wood-fired blisters added a final taste touch. The crust also reminded me of my time in Florence, Italy and scarfing up wood-fired pizzas in that historic city.

Margherita Pizza
Margherita Pizza
The Margherita was as expected and will always be the go-to pizza. The Sausage competed with the richness of the ricotta globs and was the one slice that we took home. The Caprese sausage had a pronounced spicy kick which paired nicely with the tomato sauce giving it a sweeter essence than normal. Once I had the Caprese, I could not taste the chiles in the Potato pizza. Instead I used the Potato pizza as a tongue detingling device. I really liked the pop of rosemary and garlic.

All in all a wonderful meal and an introduction of what pizza is capable of being to my nephews. I also want to give a shout out to Kay, who provided wonderful service and was patient with all of my questions.

Welcome home Pizza Tonight!

No comments: