- Nuch's Pizza
I’ll dispense with the first three quickly. I’ve already written at length about the authentic, Neapolitan-style pizzas at Settebello (260 S. 200 West, Settebello.net) and Zucca Trattoria (1479 E. 5600 South, Ogden, MyZucca.com), and the New York-worthy pizzas at Este (2021 S. Windsor Street [850 East]; 168 E. 200 South, EstePizzaCo.com). So I won’t shed more ink on those pizzerias here.
However, another very good pizza of the Napoli sort is found at Vinto (418 E. 200 South, Vinto.com), where the thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas are served up in a modern, dazzling setting, one that looks like anything but a pizzeria. I wholeheartedly vouch for Vinto’s Tuttabella pizza: housemade sausage, fresh tomato, caramelized onion, garlic, roasted peppers and fior di latte mozzarella.
The thin-crust pizzas and flatbread at Café Trio (680 S. 900 East, TrioDining.com) are also excellent. There’s one specifically designed to tempt vegetarians, topped with spinach, roasted peppers, mozzarella and fontina cheeses, caramelized onions and mushrooms. The simplified, economical wine list at Trio is just an added bonus; the Atrea Old Soul Red from Mendocino is a terrific pizza partner.
Este, as mentioned, is the king of New York City-style pizza locally, but there are other contenders. NYPD Pizzeria (Multiple locations, NYPDPizzeria.com) makes pizzas that remind me of the by-the-slice joints that kept me alive during my tenure in the Big Apple. And, NYPD sells pizza by the slice daily for $1.99. Although the crust is a little more rustic and slightly thicker than typical New York pies, the pizza at Rusted Sun Pizzeria (2010 S. State, 801-483-2120) is pretty close to the real deal. The chicken and bleu-cheese pizza is pretty awesome, but so are the calzones here, especially with an icy cold beer alongside.
There are two more East Coast type pizzas that I relish. One is at Fat Kid Pizza, served at Maxwell’s in Park City (1456 New Park Blvd., Park City, MaxwellsParkCity.com) and coming soon to downtown Salt Lake City. Fat Kid Pizza is the sort of pizza you find from Brooklyn to Philly, slathered with a very good tomato sauce and topped with Grande cheese, which makes all the difference. Most of the pies here are named for a mafia movie and come complete with a quote like the one for "The Godfather": "Leave the gun; take the canolis." Loaded with banana peppers, red bell peppers, jalapeño peppers and Italian sausage, "The Untouchables” pizza is a heat-seeker’s dream. My other favorite Eastern pizzeria is Nuch’s (2819 S. 2300 East, NuchsPizzeria.com). The owner is from upstate New York and the pizzas straddle the border between New York- and New Haven- style pies, baked in a brick oven, as are many New Haven pizzas. Load up on carbs by first enjoying an order of Nuch’s bubble bread, then order up a pie—maybe the New Haven, featuring mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with roasted garlic, bacon and asparagus, or perhaps the Ultimate White, with house-made ricotta, mozzarella, fresh garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
For Windy City pizza, head to the aptly named Sweet Home Chicago Pizzeria (1442 E. Draper Parkway [12300 South], Draper; 11587 S. District Main Drive, South Jordan, SweetHomeChicagoPizzeria.com). Contrary to popular opinion, not all Chicago pizza is thick-crust. In fact, thin-crust pizza outsells deep-dish in Chicago by a large margin. And, the ones here are authentic, with a nice crunch on the bottom of the crust but chewy in the middle. Like in Chi-town, the pizza is cut into squares, not slices. Meat lovers will go gaga for The Taylor Street, packed with housemade meatballs and sausage, along with prosciutto, capicola and Genoa salami. Geez, I get heartburn just thinking about it. Chicago-style hot dogs with the works (even celery salt) are another attraction here.
For brick-oven pizza, an obvious choice is, well, Brick Oven (Multiple locations, BrickOvenRestaurants.com). These family-style eateries feature pasta and salad bars along with pizzas such as the popular Chicken Alfredo: baked chicken, fresh mushrooms, Canadian bacon, crumbled bacon, creamy Alfredo sauce and extra cheese. Whenever I have the rare occasion to head down to BYU, I always make a point of picking up a Brick Oven pizza for the drive home.
Every once in a while, I need to break away from tomato sauce and mozzarella. For that, I turn to places with eclectic, gourmet pizzas. One of the best is Pizzeria 712 (320 S. State, Orem, Pizzeria712.com). The pizzas here are as un-standard as they are delicious. To wit, how about a wood-fired, thin-crust, rustic pizza with red onion, roasted corn, chiles, Grana Padano cheese and preserved Meyer lemon gremolata? Wow, that’s different. So are the wood-fired pizzas at Eva (317 S. Main, EvaSLC.com), like the Ratatouille, with zucchini, peppers, herbs and feta cheese or the French Pie, topped with brie, sliced pears, toasted walnuts, olive oil and arugula.
For straightforward pizzas with great, crunchy crusts that lean a bit toward the rustic, I really enjoy the pies at Park City Pizza Company (1612 Ute Blvd., Park City, ParkCityPizzaCompany.com) and Red Rock Brewing Company (254 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City; 1640 W. Redstone Center Drive, Park City, RedRockBrewing.com). Park City Pizza offers gluten-free pizza and pasta, but that’s not what I come for. I like the Weed Eater pizza, a vegetarian-friendly pie with olives, red onions, mushrooms and green peppers. At Red Rock, I can’t resist the wood-fired four-cheese pizza, a blend of smoked gouda, gruyere, Romano and mozzarella with a choice of pesto or herbed olive oil base.
Finally, Utah’s most popular pizza joint is undoubtedly The Pie (Multiple locations, ThePie.com). It’s not mine, but a gazillion Pie lovers can’t all be wrong. How about you? What pizza rocks your world?