Monday, March 21, 2011

Crostatas = Heavenly Pizza

I have no real explanation for why it took so long for Dan & me to check out Crostatas, a pizzeria on the corner of Highland and Bishop in Highland Heights. Before we bought our home in South Euclid, we lived within walking distance of it. Now, I drive by it every day on my way to/from

The building itself is not recognizable from its last incarnation, an Arabica Coffee House. Exterior and interior have been redesigned in an appropriately Italian style.

When we stopped at Crostatas Saturday afternoon, we were greeted at the entrance by Barbara, who was also our waitress.

We began with a beautifully prepared Caesar’s Salad, with the Parmesan cheese lovingly flaked over the greens. For a rarity, the dressing was an accoutrement and not an ocean drowning out the rest.

We decided on the Classico Pizza, which comes with Buffalo Mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and caramelized onions – all cooked in a handmade, hickory wood fired oven. I must confess here, I am not normally a pizza fan. I don’t react well to all that grease and cheese, and chain pizzas (which, let’s face it, accounts for most Americans’ taste experience) are usually overwhelmed by salt. But the Classico was a revelation. (In musical terms, it was like hearing Toscanini’s crisp and vibrant Brahms after only hearing stodgy Germanic performances.) The caramelized onions were the perfect contrast and complement to the tomato sauce and Mozarella – all the ingredients were in perfect balance – none overwhelmed the other. It was also beautifully presented, with Oregano leaves forming a perfect trinity.

No diet of mine (thanks to which I have lost 15 pounds since December, and which I broke on Saturday) was going to keep me from the unique dessert: a Nutella Calzone. Huge enough that there was extra to bring home even after Dan & I split it, it was surprisingly unheavy. The bread was sprinkled with powdered sugar, and the delicate flavor was contrasted with the bolder
Nutella filling.

Dan & I will definitely be returning to Crostatas.

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