Dining Outside at Howie’s Artisan Pizza
Chef-Owner Howard Bulka had plans pre-pandemic to expand the compact kitchen ever so much to accommodate a pasta-making station. Of course, those plans got pushed back with the advent of Covid. But now, his plans have come to fruition.
Not only can you enjoy the new pastas served in the dining room, but also on the pergola-covered outdoor dining area just in front of the restaurant. What’s more, you can even buy fresh pasta ($9), sauces ($9.50 per pint), and even frozen baked ziti ($22), manicotti ($13.95), and lasagna bolognese ($23) to take home.
My husband and I chose to enjoy our meal outside on a breezy evening, starting with the chopped salad ($15.25), a crunchy mix of romaine tossed with cubes of salami, Swiss cheese, cucumber, chopped egg, and green onion. With the ranch dressing on the side, you can add as little or as much as you want, controlling just how super-leaded you want your chopped salad to be.
We tried two of the new pastas. The fettuccine bolognese ($17.25) brought forth supple noodles that were wide yet thin, all coated with a meaty tomato sauce. Bucatini strands ($18.50) were tender yet chewy, tossed with tiger prawns in a bright basil pesto sauce. The golden, crunchy bread crumbs over the top were the perfect touch.
The pizzas are as good as ever, made with a crisp, airy crust. La Quercia prosciutto ($29.50) is draped over a pie that gets a creamy layer from mozzarella and Parmigiana melding with a drizzle of olive oil. Arugula adds a light peppery touch.
I opted to make my own pie with three ingredients ($29.75): meatballs, mushrooms and broccoli for a winning combination. It made for a substantial pizza with the big meatballs cut into slices and layered over the top.
Howie’s has veered away from the soft-serve it initially offered for dessert, and now has leaned into more baked and composed creations, such as big chocolate chip cookies, and slices of peanut butter pie.
The tiramisu ($7.50) is scooped out and served in a goblet. The layers of espresso-soaked lady fingers meld with the creaminess of sweet mascarpone and a splash of booze.
If you haven’t been to Howie’s in a while, now’s the time to check out what’s new.