Great Pizza Where You Least Expect It
It’s not just the dedicated pizza joints serving up the best pie in the city
By Grace Edquist
Pizza at a clam shack? You bet. When Gates & Brovi reworked its menu last summer, the Monroe Street restaurant amped up the entrée options, adding pizzas to complement other family-friendly dishes. The result? Delicious. Thin, chewy crust serves as a foundation for quality, creative toppings. True to its seafood roots, G&B’s Clam Digger pizza, with roasted fennel, tomato sauce, cream, fresh basil, mozzarella, Parmesan and, of course, clams, is a must. The taste is fresh, not fishy, and like all Gates & Brovi dishes, it’s made from scratch.
A Milwaukee institution since 1954, Zaffiro’s made an unlikely home in Madison last summer: at the Marcus Point Cinema on Big Sky Drive. We welcome the addition whole-heartedly—these are a far cry from your average movie concession eats. Made to order, the pies have an über-thin crust and come with your choice of the usual toppings. The best part? Zaffiro’s pizza is equally as satisfying whether you take it into the movie theater, enjoy it at the chic Take Five Lounge attached to the theater’s lobby or bring it home for dinner. Think of it as your new go-to takeout spot.
BEYOND THE BURGER
Forever known for its above-average bar food, the Harmony Bar & Grill’s pizza goes above and beyond as well. Start with the not-too-thick, not-too-thin hand-tossed crust and build your own pie with a wide selection of quality ingredients. Or go for one of the eighteen specialty combos, because each and every one packs a zesty, gooey punch. Like the Riviera, featuring onions, kalamata olives, tomatoes and basil baked on an olive-oil crust. Or the Tuscany, made with caramelized onions, walnuts and blue and mozzarella cheeses. And you can’t go wrong with the good ol’ Harmony Deluxe—with or without the pepperoni and sausage.
Lots of bars serve pizza, but it’s often your freezer-to-mini-oven variety that satisfies the hungrys and not much more. Not at Mickey’s Tavern, where, like the rest of the menu offerings, these pies are simply and tastefully prepared to please your palate. Top your twelve-inch with the usual suspects or get creative with add-ons like pulled pork, flank steak, goat cheese and truffle oil—but not necessarily in that order or on the same pizza! If you’re splitting a pie, share a salad while you’re at it. We
recommend the True Blue: blue cheese, red onion, toasted walnuts and dried cherries tossed with mixed greens and pomegranate vinaigrette.
The Echo Tap has been around some seventy-plus years, but don’t mistake history for hackneyed. The food here is impressive, with the handmade pizza offerings excelling far beyond what you’d expect for a neighborhood sports bar. Crust comes either hand-tossed or New-York thin, and specialty pies appease both vegetarians and meat lovers. Try the staff favorite, Jacy’s White Pizza with ricotta cheese, spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic sauce. Dig into your slice at the bar or take your pie to go.