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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Apizzo comes to Pawcatuck

I noticed this building being renovated in downtown Pawcatuck, CT. and began to get excited when I saw the exterior painted black and then the sign that clearly stated 'apizzo Pizzeria Napoletana’. I knew immediately it was going to be an up-scale and authentic Italian pizzeria. I mean a sign with black and red and no picture of a slice of pizza? When my husband and I found ourselves without children for a few hours we knew right away what we wanted to do with the time. We entered apizzo about 4:45 and the place was quiet as you would expect at the early bird dinner time. Being that it was not busy yet, there were plenty of youthful smiling faces to greet us. We requested the table in the back, on one side a chair and the other, bench seating. The restaurant d├ęcor and ambiance borders on minimalist but still feels warm. That warmth comes from the darker, subtly lit interior, the wood-fire brick oven in the open kitchen to our left and to our right, the lounge area with armless leather chairs. They have generous seating yet not so much that you will feel overcrowded. In fact, by the time we left at 6:25, almost all the tables we filled yet it was not noisy and uncomfortable. We noted 'all walks of life' were there even though this restaurant exudes a higher end feeling. Definitely not the typical pizza joint.
Our server Katie welcomes us and offers to get us some beverages. Oh, and what a beverage selection they have. The sodas are there as well as the unsweetened iced tea but the real story is the beautiful selection of Italian wines and the extensive selection of domestic, microbrew and imported beers. We placed our order and began to feast on the eye-candy of a menu. We first focus on the appetizers and choose both the wood roasted wings and caprese salad. Once they arrive, we take a moment to admire them before digging in. First, the caprese salad: I truly tasted and enjoyed the mozzarella. The tomatoes could have used another day to ripen to my liking but were fresh and both the tomato and mozzarella were dressed with the prefect amount of balsamic syrup. Next, the wood roasted buffalo wings. Now, these are not the run of the mill, over fried wings coated with Frank’s Hot sauce (which I love by the way). The wings were meaty, were not just skin and bone and the texture was different as they are not deep fried as the only means of cooking here is in the brick oven. Katie, knowing that the pizza cooks in 2 minutes flat, timed it perfectly and waited for a few minutes after finishing our apps. to even order it (We had, after all, told her that we were there for a relaxed experience.). The main course of ‘Shrimp & Pesto’ Pizza arrives and looks even better than I expected. This lovely pizza was not covered with a large dose of pesto and tiny shrimp. Nope, this pizza was lovingly created with nice sized shrimp and a great pesto (not the oily and too garlicky mixtures), and cooked perfectly: not chewy and tough-how wonderful. We dug in but savored. If you like stiff thin crust pizzas, than this place is not for you. The outer crust itself is wider than I am used to seeing, being about 1.5-2 inches of fresh, lovely bread. The pizza is light and refreshing and close to a touch too salty so do not salt before tasting, but that is always a great rule to follow. After staring at each other and smiling during our pizza experience, we decided that we wanted to enjoy some dessert and cappuccinos (‘illy’ people, illy). Katie also did a great job informing us that the cheesecakes were by the Cheesecake Factory and so, yes, a slice of carrot cheesecake please. In case you were wondering, yes, we ate the whole thing. It is a perfect size for two and because it is not the standard heavy, chewy pizza, we could make room for dessert.

We will be going back for some paninis, more pizza pies and to experience the wines & beers. Ciao! p.s. Have fun washing your hands in their all glass bathroom sinks.

1 comment:

Anna at Hank and Willie said...

HAven't been there yet, so thanks for the review!

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