Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pizzaiolo in Oakland

Very popular because of the food 
Oakland has been under a transformation for the last several years influenced by great character, UC Berkeley, affordability and a Bohemian arts and crafts community.  With all that has come some very good restaurants many have been inspired by Alice Waters.  My friend told me of one of his favorites Pizzaiolo located right next to Temescal Alley.  Pizzaiolo Owner Charlie Hallowell and his crew all have experience working in Chez Panisse and it shows.  His premise is "believe that the simple act of feeding people is at the core of what it is to be human. We focus on the ritual of taking life from the world around us and presenting it to you to sustain your own life".

Great color and taste
We got there at 5:30 and were one of the first to be seated but within 20 minutes the place was full.  The restaurant is rustic and very comfortable our server Laura was attentive, energetic and walked us through the menu.  I wanted the Pizza with a little heat and their home made sausage, my friend wanted the Margherita Pizza

The meal started with a variety of delicious olives that helped to prepare the palette for the evening.
Calabrian Pepper Pizza
 My starter was the Beet and Avocado Salad, the Beets were fresh sweet and delicious with the Avocado providing a creaminess.  I remember when beets were from a can and looked as if the had been dyed, my mom would try to get me to eat them but not for me Today we get fresh beets of all different colors that are fresh and sweet, almost like an exotic fruit.
Perfectly made crust
My Pizza came with onions which I did not catch when ordering.  I told them it was an issue they said no problem and 8 minutes later out came a fresh Pizza.  That is what I call customer service!  The Pizza was simple but tasted great, their sausage was fresh with fennel seeds and the Calabrian Peppers gave it just the right amount of heat.  My friends Margherita pizza was perfect also.  These Pizzas were great because the crust was well done and a platform to deliver a great bite of well prepared ingredients.
Overall Pizzaiolo is a fun neighborhood restaurant with terrific service along with great tasting and high quality food.