As I had promised myself the previous two visits, I would return to Oven and Shaker and try the Bianca. This past week gave me an opportunity to do so. As I perused the menu, I noticed that the seasonal pizzas from August that included zucchini and marscarpone and blackberry and peach had been amended, with the blackberry removed (but there is still a peach pizza) and a roasted pepper pizza as well. It's good to see they are continuing to freshen up the menu monthly. As last time, the service was attentive in checking in for drinks and food so that you can casually chat and snack on starters and small plates, and the food does come out in whatever order the kitchen has it ready.
I started out with a cocktail I had been eyeing my last visit, called the The “Lost” Cosmopolitan. The menu boasts that this is vintage circa 1933. To me though, it tasted pretty modern, a good mix of tart and sweet without being to much of either, thanks to its ingredients of "7 ea. fresh raspberries + 2 oz. Aviation Gin + ¼ oz Cointreau + ¾ oz. freshly pressed lemon juice + ¾ oz. simple syrup Americano". I would have had more of this delight to drink, but decided to stick to a lot of water because it was a sweltering above 80 degrees that day. But this drink also made me feel so girly and pretty!
As a starter, I tried the Kale Salad, with grapefruit, toasted breadcrumbs, poppyseed fricco, pecorino, anchovy vinaigrette. The result was a crunchy salad experience with pops of salt. The way the kale was shredded though was a bit long for a neat mouthful but too short to twirl and too thin to cut, which resulted in me wiping my face a lot as the vinaigrette splashed all around my mouth from the length of the kale. Now I felt messy and like a slob with no manners. Thanks for the highs and lows Oven and Shaker. This is not a good dish if you are on a date. Or with anyone who wants to look at your face and not see shiny vinaigrette dribbles shining from you.
And then, well there was the pizza I came for, the Bianca. You can tell from the description it has my name appended at the end: a wood oven fired pizza topped with teleme, truffled sottocenere, bufala mozzarella, and fried sage. Teleme is a luscious high fat cheese that is creamy white, sort of like a mix between a brie and creme fraiche because it is very oozy. Then add fresh bufala mozz, and a cheese with flakes of truffles!? Yes please!
If you love lots of gooey cheese on your pizza, and throw in the scents and flavors of a bit of the smokey dough it is piled and melted on, this is for you. It is quite rich, and if you aren't ordering this pizza with others that you are sharing with (along with mixing it up with slices of other pizzas), consider adding an extra topping from their menu to add a bit of contrast- I think I woudl choose the spicy roasted chilis myself, although the salt cured anchovies would also work if you didn't just eat a whole salad littered with anchovy bits. I would get this pizza again in a heartbeat... if I'm not tempted away by a combination of a seasonal pizza making a guest appearance.