Pizzelii is a fast and casual brick oven pizza restaurant on Route 50 that just opened at the beginning of February. This past Friday, after visiting the Fifty West Brewing Company, which sits directly across the street, my family and I decided to give it a try.
An open air kitchen greets guests as they walk in the door. On our visit Gary Gottenbusch, one of the owners and also an owner of Servatii, greeted us as we walked inside. He was happy to give us a quick introduction to the menu that is hanging above the ordering counter as well as fill us in on some of the facts of Pizzelii. It turns out that everything is made fresh in the restaurant and there are no freezers on site.
Orders are placed at a counter adjacent to the kitchen. Only one size of pizza is offered and it is a thin ten inch. You can create your own pizza starting at $6 with either the classico (crushed San Marzano tomatoes) or the bianca (garlic infused extra virgin olive oil). Both are topped with a mozzarella and provolone blend and toppings can be added for a dollar each. Also available are specialty “piis” for $8 and a few salad offerings. Four beers are available on tap, including one from Fifty West. Bottled beer, wine, and soda are also available. They are the only independent restaurant in Ohio that has a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine.
After orders are placed you receive a number from the cashier, and you can then seat yourself in the extremely large dining area that is packed full with tables. A secondary bar is available at the rear of the dining area for additional alcoholic beverages. The brick oven cooks the pizza between 800 and 1200 degrees, so it doesn’t take more than a few minutes for orders to arrive at your chosen table.
I ordered the daily special, which was a bianca pizza topped with goat cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette ($8). It arrived hot from the oven and after a minute or two to cool I immediately grabbed a slice. On my first bite I was impressed. The crust was dense, chewy, and crisp on the outside. The goat cheese added a great flavor to compliment the other more subtle ingredients. In my opinion, this pizza should be on the daily menu.
My wife ordered the margherita with red sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, and garlic infused extra virgin olive oil ($8). This pizza definitely needed more toppings and sauce. The sauce was spread so thin on top of the crust that it became very dry and mostly baked into the crust. The mozzarella and basil tasted great, but I wanted a little more of each, the cheese especially. I did find that extra sauce is available in plastic cups, which helped somewhat, but I still would prefer a little more on the pizza itself.
Though the restaurant is counter service, we still experienced wonderful service. When the owner found out that our group was out celebrating my birthday, he kindly dropped off a delicious cinnamon apple dessert pizza for us all to share. Earlier in the meal when a miscommunication in our group left us one pizza short, the young employee that dropped off our order was happy to take an additional order from us while we stayed in our seats. I think with time the small issues I had with some of the food should be worked out to match the excellent service.