Monday, August 09, 2004

Vicolo Pizzeria CLOSED

Finding good pizza, never mind great pizza, is a bit like the search for the holy grail. Never ending. And the joy is in the searching, not just the finding. To that end I have to admit I have yet to try several places that come highly recommended. Top of my list is Pizetta 211 in the Richmond. I've also heard good things about Nizza La Bella in Albany. But in the meantime I do have one other Bay Area pizza place that I like a lot. Vicolo Pizzeria .

Like Arizmendi there are some down sides to this choice. No delivery. A limited number of toppings. Vicolo pizza is also relatively expensive as far pizzas go. Slices cost around $4. But on the plus side, this pizza is uniquely delicious. Vicolo makes several varieties and you can eat them in the restaurant or buy them partially baked and take them home to finish baking. Some local stores carry their pizza and pizza crust "shells" in the freezer or refrigerated section. Their deep dish crust is made from stone-ground cornmeal and comes topped with "California style" toppings such as wild mushrooms or leeks as well as the more traditional sausage with peppers and onions or quattro formaggi. The pizza is so richly flavored that even one slice makes for a rustic and satisfying experience, though perhaps not a whole meal. The crust is much more crisp than chewy and stands up well to lots of toppings. This is not a minimalist pizza experience.

Vicolo is located on an alley which is what the name "vicolo" means in Italian. It is the creation of Patricia Unterman, who also owns Hayes Street Grill and is the writer of Patricia Unterman's The San Francisco Food Lover's Guide. Vicolo was featured on FoodTV's The Best Of Pizza Places episode.

Vicolo PizzeriaCLOSED
201 Ivy Street (between Hayes and Grove off Franklin)
San Francisco
Sunday through Thursday 5 to 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 5 to 9 p.m

Only open for lunch of days of matinee performances at Davies Symphony Hall or the Opera House from 11:30-2pm