Although I'm sure the pizza is pretty good in Baltimore (you know what they say about pizza . . . ), when I left Baltimore a couple of years ago, I was lucky to land in Brooklyn, the epicenter of pizza. I live only about a mile away from the New York Times's declared best pizza in New York and just blocks away from my personal favorite pizza, handcrafted by the phenomenal Paulie Gee. Every pie served at Paulie Gee's is the best I've ever had, but when I visited a few weeks ago I was especially inspired by their Greenpointer pizza: a white pizza topped with arugula, cheese, and LEMON JUICE.
My friend Stephen has been honing his pizza skills lately with sauce and crust recipes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. When we ran into each other at our last CSA pick up of the season, he invited me over to sample his undertakings. Inspired by the magical Paulie Gee's pizza and our CSA haul that week, I suggested that we top the pizza with kale, leeks, ricotta and lemon zest.
Stephen and his roommate made the dough and sauce ahead of time. We had both already used up our CSA kale by the time pizza making came around so I picked up some arugula on the way over. We also modified from my suggested ricotta to a mix of fresh mozzarella and parmesan. A key to this pizza was that the arugula and lemon were added after the pizza was removed from the oven, ensuring that the arugula was perfectly wilted without drying out or burning.
It was almost too beautiful to eat! But after fiddling around with digital cameras for a while we happily did eat it. The crust was delicious and more like a thin focaccia that a traditional thin crust pizza from a pizza joint. Everyone agreed that the leeks were a really great addition to the pizza and the sparing use of cheese allowed the delicate leeks to shine. I give it a hearty 8 out of 8 slices. After finishing the pizza, we got drunk on red wine and debated the pros and cons of raising the minimum age for collecting social security while listening to the Arcade Fire.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
On October 7, 2010 we went to Tutti Gusti. We ordered three large pizzas. The Bianca, Pizza Con Spinach, and a square pizza.
The Bianca - broccoli, ricotta, tomato, and mozzarella cheese. The crust on the pizza was crispy and was quoted as being "quite exceptional".
Pizza Con Spinach - tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, spinach, and mozzarella. The spinach on this one was definitely real and there was a lot of it.
We also made our own on one of their square pizzas. We got it with sausage and sundried tomatoes. The square pizza was very doughy.
Although we ordered at a counter, they brought the pizza to the table. The service was very friendly at this casual dining establishment. They did have the tv on, which was distracting. They also serve pizza by the slice pasta, calzones, and subs which we assume are really good. Overall we definitely got our money's worth of fresh and delicious pizza. Tutti Gusti is located in the Canton area, so for some it is a bit of a hike to get to. If you are going to be in the area, you should check it out.
Our overall rating was:
The Bianca - 6/8 slices
Pizza Con Spinach - 5/8 slices
Square - 7.5/8 slices
3102 Fait Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224