Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pizzaiola--Justifiably Popular

Last night, Peter and I were feeling pretty mellow, so we decided it was the right night to try Pizzaiolo, the popular Italian in the Temescal area of Oakland. The problem with this restaurant is that they don't take reservations, and every time we have passed, normally to go to Dona Tomas, a yummy Mexican, there has been a huge amount of people waiting. Peter and I do not like to wait, which is why we have waited this long to go to Pizzaiolo. When we got to the restaurant, we immediately liked it; it has a warm inviting atmosphere, there was some great jazz music in the background, and the pizzas on most of the tables looked delicious. What we didn't like was finding out that Pizzaiolo has been taking reservations since 3 months back! And we didn't like that it would take an hour for us to get a table....we pouted a bit and the maitre d' took pity on us and said we might be able to get a table outside in the back patio quicker. Meanwhile, we took advantage of the waiting time to get a drink. They have a great list of cocktails. I ordered an Elderflower Martini (gin, elderflower syrup, lime, and bitters) which was divine. I could get very drunk on those. In fact, I could get very drunk on one of those, lightweight that I am.

We managed to squeeze in at the bar, after a not too long wait. I started with Housemade Mortadella with asparagus and gnocco fritto. The Mortadella was tasty, with extra pistachio nuts on the side. The asparagus was served cold with dressing and was very good--although not as delicious as the asparagus I had picked that day in my garden and eaten raw! The gnocco fritto is basically just deep fried pieces of dough. Kind of tasty with the mortadella but a little dissapointing since I had pictured something more gooey and perhaps cheesy. Peter had Salt Cod Mantecato with toast from the wood oven. This is sort of a paste made with salt cod and mashed potato, salty and goopy. We liked it. We had a hard time picking the main course...I always love pasta, and Peter was partial to trying the braised pork. But the pizza beckoned with irristable force. We decided on Manila clams, tomato, and green garlic aioli. I tried to convince Peter we could have the pork also, but he pointed out that I had already eaten half of our boys macaroni and cheese dinner before we left our house, and that we couldn't possible eat two main courses. I hate it when the man is sensible! The pizza was delicious--the crust thin and blistered by the wood burning stove, the clams salty, the tomatoes fresh tasting, and the aioli, a welcome creamy, garlicy accent.

Finally, onto dessert. I selected apple fritters with icecream, and debated ordering the dark chocolate gelato for Peter (i.e two desserts for me since Peter normally doesn't eat dessert) but decided that there should be limits to my greediness. Peter ordered a double espresso but the bartender told him he should just have a single because they were large. When Peter got his slightly large but not as big as a double espresso cup, he scowled and started grumbling. I punched him and told him to stop it. After all, we wanted to come to this restaurant again, and we needed the staff to like us. So he asked me, " I shouldn't stand up and pull out my d***, and tell the waitress to suck this?" I said, well, it would be very funny, but no. I think it is better if you resist. On that note, we polished off our coffee and I licked the last of the icecream off the spoon, and left, promising to return soon.

1 comment:

Aiai said...

My sisters raved about this place too. They went last week. Maybe I should take Tom there for his birthday. I sure want to try the Elderflower Martini.