San Diego: Great Neapolitan-Style Pies at Pizzeria Bruno
Another pizza report from Erin Jackson, who has also been covering the San Diego burger scene over at AHT. Want to recommend a San Diego pizza destination to her? Leave a note in the comments below. —The Mgmt.
4207 Park Boulevard, San Diego CA 92103 (map); 619-291-3341; pizzeriabrunosd.com
Pizza Style: Neapolitan
Oven Type: Wood-fired
The Skinny: Tasty VPN-certified pies topped with fresh ingredients
Price: Margherita, $12; Lasagne pizza, $15
The undeniable enthusiasm and love that some Slice'rs have for Pizzeria Bruno in San Diego convinced me to bump up my "sometime in the future" visit to "ASAP." I'm glad I did. This Neapolitan-style pizzeria in North Park is home to some seriously tasty pies.
Pizzeria Bruno doesn't cut any corners: the shop features a wood-fired oven made in Italy by master craftsmen; only premium ingredients, top-shelf cheeses and cured meats (including fennel sausage made locally) go on the pies; and Peter, the pizzaiolo, is VPN-certified. The result of all of this attention to detail are some remarkable pies unlike anything else in San Diego County.
During happy hour you can get a 7-inch pizza with one topping for $5 and discount wine and beer, but I ordered two pies from the regular menu to get a better sense of the place.
The Margherita is available with either regular or buffalo mozzarella (for $5 extra). The pie emerged steaming from the oven steaming was drizzled with olive oil and ripped basil. The pie sung with a purity of flavor, and the San Marzano tomatoes were well balanced by the creamy and slightly salty fior di latte and sweet basil. This pizza was a great example of a classic pie done just right.
As good as the Margherita was, the lasagne pie stole my heart. Topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, prosciutto cotto, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, this pizza was a symphony of flavors and textures. The interplay between the creamy, silky ricotta, the melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto, and the char on the crust made a tantalizing medley of contrasting textures. Any of these elements would have been tasty alone, but the combination of all of them together elevated the pie to a level of deliciousness greater than the sum of its parts. The only unfortunate thing was that some areas of the pie had more of the good stuff than others, which made for an interesting face-off over the last few slices.
The crust on both pies was nicely charred, and thin, but tender. The cornicione was speckled with leopard spots of various sizes. The char made up a large component of the flavor profile, and came through in every bite.
Being the first (and only) place in town offering a particular style of pizza puts a purveyor in interesting territory. At once, they're an innovator, teacher, and sole owner of the task of representing something new and different. After a delicious meal at Pizzeria Bruno, I'm happy to report that they're excelling on all fronts.