As we all know baseball is the best sport and March means that it’s time to start getting into the baseball spirit again with spring training. I headed out to Phoenix to catch the 2016 World Series Champs Chicago Cubs in their spring training.I used to go every year when I lived in Los Angeles, but it has been eight years since I’ve been. So I was looking forward to this.
I have a handful of friends that live there so I was going to get to catch up with them as well. One of them was having a milestone birthday, so we got a small gathering together and based off of recommendations we went to Pizzeria Bianco for dinner. I learned after the fact that this friend doesn’t really like pizza. I should probably unfriend her for that but she agreed to go so I could make a post from Phoenix. Such a good friend.
I’m going to apologize for the photos ahead of time, low lighting made for some bad pictures. No one in my party had been there before. My friend made the reservations and told me they are very strict with the reservations. You could only have a maximum of ten people and you had to call no later than two hours before with any changes. We were also told that we wouldn’t be sat until the whole party was there.
When you pull in on the street they are on, the road is closed. I guess it’s a private road for an arts and science park. The parking lot entrance is for a valet only lot; I guess there is other parking nearby. It was five dollars for the valet. The pizzeria is relatively small. There is a front and side patio that has outdoor seating as well as the greeter stand. Our whole party got was there fifteen minutes before our 7pm reservations. I checked us in at that time and were told our table was already ready. He pointed at it as he held the door.
When you walk in there is a bar on the left which seats about ten people. A little further in is a wood-fired oven. On the right side is the dining space which seats about 30 people. Straight back is the back kitchen and restrooms. Lighting was very dim; a few lights above with candles on every table.
The menu is pretty simple, a couple appetizers, a few salads, and the pizzas. I asked our waiter about the size of the pizzas. He said they’re personal size pizzas at 12-inch with six slices. I know it’s a thin crust but that seemed like it could probably feed a couple. After a drink round order we started off with the two appetizers, an antipasto dish and spiedini, Fontina wrapped in organic prosciutto. While we were waiting for the apps they brought out crusty bread and olive oil.
Everyone liked the apps, especially the spiedini. Everyone ended up ordering their own pizza. There were six on the menu; the first three had tomato sauce while the second three were white pizzas with no sauce. I personally chose the Margherita which was topped with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil.
You can see what came out. You can see that there was burning on a sixth of the pizza crust. I know it is a wood-fired oven and they need to keep an eye on it but it looks like they missed a turn. I would have liked a little more basil as well, or at least cut and spread around more.
The flavor was good, aside from the burnt part. The crust had some crunch and that wood-fired taste. The basil and mozzarella were fresh and good and the sauce had a decent flavor to it. I did get to try a slice of two other types of pizza. One was the Sonny Boy which had tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami, and olives. The other was the Wiseguy which had wood-roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella, and fennel sausage.
The other pizzas were better cooked, no burnt crusts. I noticed among the three that there was an unevenness of the spreading of the toppings. You can see on the Wiseguy that the sausage was pretty much all on one side and the olives on the Sonny Boy were sporadic. I did think that Margherita was the best of the three.
Overall I think the pizza was alright, but the ambiance is what makes this place. It has a cute rustic vibe to it. I was told the wine was good. So I think that if I came here again, which I would, it would be for a date. I would order a bottle of wine, an appetizer, and one pizza to split. My bill for my pizza and a draft beer came to $24.44