Ask anyone for a pizza recommendation on Spring St. and generally the first place that pops into anyone’s mine is Lombardi’s. Not only is it America’s longest standing pizza place (licensed in 1905), but the pizzeria’s awning even boasts of being “The Best Pizza on the Planet”. While this is not a post about Lombardi’s (which I’ve tried before but will have to revisit to write about soon), Giorgione‘s faces stiff competition just by sharing the same street.
This is not to say I didn’t go into it with an open mind when I was invited to dinner by a lovely gentleman. He had heard good things, I had read good things and I’m always interesting in trying a new spot. After tasting the pies though, I must say, Lombardi’s does win out
We started with a bottle of wine, the selection of which required just as much time as our pizza perusal. Tyler and I settled on the ricotta di pecora e spinaci pizza with Sardinian sheep’s milk ricotta, spinach and sea salt, and for a second pie, the prosciutto di parma with prosciutto crudo, arugula, mozzarella and tomato. Repeating the ingredients back makes my mouth water and looking at pictures of it does the same, but I had a few criticisms of this pizza while in mid-bite. For one, the crust was a little too salty. Actually, it was just too salty period. When you can taste the salt on pizza you automatically have too much of it and the question of the chef’s smoking habits come into question. (One pack a day, or just a few cigs here and there?) I’m not complaining so much about the pie with sea salt because clearly that was an expected element of the flavor– but when your crust is salty on pizza with a salted meat, your mouth starts to spiral into dehydration and your brain starts to re-prioritize thoughts: “Wow, this looks good… eee this is a bit salty…I’d love a sip of wine… must have WATER…” And so those thoughts repeated themselves until the pizzas were gone, our wine glasses were dry and then my mouth was a desert. Okay, this is a bit of an exaggeration but what fun is reviewing pizza without some artistic license to make lofty critiques? Or maybe that’s just because it’s Friday and I’m feeling feisty. Anyway, distractions averted…
Beyond the salt, the crust was a nice thinness, but it was chewy and not crisp. I enjoy a bit of a crisp crust with char. The char was there but no crispy crunch. (Plus one for Giorgione, minus one for Giorgione = a negated point.) Tyler had a few complaints himself which he offered up and I agreed with. He wished the prosciutto was cooked with the pizza rather than laid over top as if an after-thought. I agree totally and we also both wished that the prosciutto was cut beforehand so we didn’t need to try tearing into it with our teeth, or even with a knife which had trouble enough slicing into it. Clearly we were sensitive to those people on dates, cough cough.
But here’s the paragraph with room for the things I DID enjoy about the night, company included. The ricotta cheese was extremely fresh and a wonderful addition to the pie. Also, the olive oil drizzled on the pizza was perfectly proportioned: not too drippy, not too dry. As a sauce fanatic, this is a crucial point. Also, the atmosphere of the restaurant itself is very appealing and great for a date. The space is dimly lit, minimalistic in decoration, with attentive service and even a lengthy bar when you first walk in, great for just grabbing a drink or a meal. In addition, the raw oyster bar up front may intrigue any oyster lover with its towering seafood.
If you do find yourself on Spring St. and you are curious to try Giorgione’s gourmet pizza selections ranging from bianca primavera (mozzarella, fresh tomato, arugula, shaved parmigiano), capricciosa (ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, tomato, mozarella) or just plain margherita, let me know your thoughts and take a few suggestions:
Don’t show up early because they won’t seat you until your entire party arrives.
Don’t fret wearing a jacket. They are kind enough to check it for you– and they even somehow remembered my jacket without the ticket.
Bring a cute date or have a cute date bring you. Incase the pizza dosen’t satisfy fully, you can rely on good conversation and wine!