Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Going strong since 1996, Pitfire Pizza is attracting outstanding talent, such as Chef Jason Neroni (we first met him at on Top This at Osteria La Buca). Chef Neroni collaborated with Pitfire's Executive Chef Michael Ainslee on new seasonal pizzas, launching this week at all 6 locations.
The Hula Hoop ($9.95), with grilled pineapple, pickled jalapenos, burrata, smoked prosciutto, and basil, is a rich display of nearly every flavor profile: sweet, tart, smoky, creamy, and spicy. The sauce practically disappears under the array of toppings. The thick (but not too thick) cuts of pineapple and jalapeno retain their juiciness under sheets of prosciutto. Puddles of oil spattered burrata shimmer on top. These are the bold combinations Chef Neroni excels at. Paired with Pitfire's rustic bakery crust, it's a captivating combination, although bound to challenge less adventurous eaters.
If pineapple and pickles are on your pizza no-no list, the Spudnik ($9.95), with fingerling potatoes, spring onions, parmesan, garlic confit, and black pepper, is a tamer, but no less sophisticated seasonal special. The buttery potatoes and sweet spiciness from the spring onions hit you up front, followed by lingering black pepper. The allure of this pizza comes from the longish (3 minutes) bake time of Pitfire's pies. The time spent in the wood burning Mugnaini oven browns the Parmesan into a fragrant nutty veil across the face of the pizza.
Founders Paul Hibler and David Sanfield take their crust seriously. The proprietary blend of three flours, fermented 36 to 72 hours, is made centrally, ensuring quality and consistency at each location. It's not as crisp and airy as Mozza nor as light as a Neapolitan style pizza. It is its own beast, lightly charred and chewy with a hint of sweetness, which has a tendency to bring out diehard fans and haters. But whatever your stance is on the crust, it's hard not to love the top notch ingredients, smart combinations, and gourmet pizzas at pocket-friendly prices.