Category Archives: Pizza

Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 6

A beauty of a prosciutto pizza at Vina Enoteca.
A beauty of a prosciutto pizza at Vina Enoteca.

Vina Enoteca, Palo Alto

Handmade pastas you can’t wait to twirl a fork into. Pizzas that make you lunge for a slice. An impressive Italian wine list. And creative cocktails that always put you in a peppy mood.

Vina Enoteca has long been one of my favorite Italian restaurants because it offers all of that with aplomb.

Ordering online is a breeze, as is parking when you pick up your order. These days, there’s plenty of open parking slots in the adjacent lot behind the Stanford Shopping Center. Walk up to the host stand outside to pick it all up.

A simple cacio e pepe, made more special with a Parmigiano crisp on top.
A simple cacio e pepe, made more special with a Parmigiano crisp on top.

My husband can never resist a pizza topped with prosciutto. The Pizza Emiliana ($22) is like the super-model version of that.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 5

A novel broccoli and pancetta pizza from Pizza Antica.
A novel broccoli and pancetta pizza from Pizza Antica.

Pizza Antica, Santana Row San Jose, Lafayette, Mill Valley

The original Pizza Antica at San Jose’s Santana Row has been a huge draw since it opened its doors in 2003. Even in the midst of a pandemic, with only takeout and outdoor dining on the Row available, it remains ever popular.

When I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant last week, I found the takeout system easy as can be. There’s plenty of parking at Santana Row these days, so once you find a spot, just walk to the restaurant’s front doors to pick up your to-go food that you can order ahead of time online.

Pizza, pizza!
Pizza, pizza!

You can never go wrong with pizza here. The thin yet pliable crusts sport those lovely charred leopard spots from the oven. The Margherita ($17) is a solid, classic rendition with sweet tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and fresh basil leaves on a crust with a noticeable yeasty, developed flavor.

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Tear Into Lemon, Broccoli and Garlic Deep-Pan Pizza

A thick, focaccia-like crust forms the foundation for this veggie pan pizza.
A thick, focaccia-like crust forms the foundation for this veggie pan pizza.

Pan pizza is definitely having a raging moment in the Bay Area.

A decidedly thick one.

With more Detroit-style pizza being offered at places around the Bay, you don’t need to get on a plane to the Midwest to dig into a slab.

You can even try your hand at making your own at home, thanks to the new cookbook, “Perfect Pan Pizza: Square Pies to Make at Home, from Roman, Sicilian, and Detroit, to Grandma Pies and Focaccia” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by bread-making authority Peter Reinhart.

This is the ultimate tome with everything you need to know about making thick-crust-style pizza, with detailed directions and photos about making, folding, dimpling, and baking the dough. Reinhart also provides a variety of dough recipes so you can choose according to your preference: “White Flour Dough,” “Whole Grain Country-Style Dough,” and “Naturally Leavened Dough.”

He breaks down the differences between Roman, Sicilian, Detroit, Grandma-style and focaccia-style pan pizzas, and provides recipes for all those styles with inventive toppings, including “Beef Brisket with Burnt Ends,” “Banh Mi,” and “Avocado Scampi.”

The “Lemon, Broccoli, and Garlic” caught my attention because I figured when consuming that many carbs, I ought to at least try to squeeze some veggies in at the same time.

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All Roads Lead to A16 Rockridge

An especially meaty, sweet, tender tasting prosciutto at A16 Rockridge.
An especially meaty, sweet, tender tasting prosciutto at A16 Rockridge.

I have been a fan of A16 ever since it opened its doors in 2004 in San Francisco’s Marina district. But I may have become an even bigger fan now of its younger sister location, A16 Rockridge in Oakland, which opened in 2013.

That’s because parking is a breeze, especially on an early Sunday evening, as when I visited recently. In contrast, visiting the original location will always involve circling the blocks over and over to hunt for a parking space.

In Oakland, I save time in the car to spend more of it comfortably at my seat in the restaurant, done up in rustic-industrial style with exposed brick walls and duct work on the ceilings.

The restaurant, which takes its name from the highway that spans across Italy from Napoli to Bari, specializes in the food of Campania.

The comfortable dining room with high ceilings and large windows overlooking the sidewalk.
The comfortable dining room with high ceilings and large windows overlooking the sidewalk.

Its wine list is also killer. In fact, Wine Director and Co-Founder Shelley Lindgren won a James Beard Award for it. So when our server recommended a half carafe ($26) of the 2018 Terredora di Paolo “Rosaenovae” Montefusco, Avellino, Campania rose, on the warm summer evening, we knew it would hit the spot. And it did with its pale salmon color, and light, dry, minerally-forward character.

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When It Comes To Pizza, It’s Hip to Be Square

Sausage and mushroom pizza take a fun square turn at Square Pie Guys in San Francisco.
Sausage and mushroom pizza take a fun square turn at Square Pie Guys in San Francisco.

First-time restaurateurs Marc Schechter and Danny Stoller may call themselves and their new San Francisco establishment, the Square Pie Guys.

Even if the pizza is actually rectangular. And even if the other items on the menu deserve top-billing, too, including Asian-style fried chicken wings that nearly steal the show.

Semantics aside, this Detroit-style pizza joint is already winning over fans and making repeat customers, even after being open just a month. On a recent Wednesday night, when I was invited in as a guest, the place was packed.

Detroit-style pizza was born in — where else — the Motor City. Originally, the thick-crust pizza was baked in industrial car parts trays. At Square Pie Guys, the pizzas are baked in deep rectangular pans.

Danny Stoller (left) and Marc Schechter (right) in the kitchen of the first restaurant to call their own.
Danny Stoller (left) and Marc Schechter (right) in the kitchen of the first restaurant to call their own.

Stoller hails from Seattle, where he cooked at such institutions as Tilth and Revel. Schechter worked his way though some of San Francisco’s finest pizza places, including Pizzahacker, Del Popolo, Casey’s, and Pizzeria Delfina.

“I’m a pizza nerd,” Schechter says proudly.

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