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.

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[Photographs: Adam Lindsley]

It's not often I'm given the opportunity to eat pizza at a winery. Perhaps this has less to do with typical tasting room fare, than the fact that I'm not a wine aficionado and don't often find myself in many tasting rooms. I will say that after trying a couple pies at Novelty Hill/Januik in Woodinville, Washington, I'm definitely inspired to peruse other wineries' menus for pizza.

As it was Mother's Day, the six pies on the current menu were mom-themed, and appropriately named. For example, the Octomom was topped with no less than boar bacon, mortadella, salami, asparagus, egg, prosciutto, ham, and scallions. The June Cleaver was a humorous nod to the 1950s, boasting creamed chicken and mushrooms.

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I tried two pizzas, the first of which was the Clair Huxtable. I kind of skipped over the Cosby Show in my youth, so I have no idea if braised short ribs, ramps, and cherry tomatoes are indicative of Phylicia Rashad's character. Regardless, the toppings were well-chosen and complimentary.

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Ramps seem to be getting all the attention these days, and rightly so; they brought a mild sweetness and oniony overtone to this pizza. Pairing superbly with the ramps, the braised short ribs were oh-so-tender and salty, practically melting in your mouth. The cherry tomatoes, bursting with sweet juice, added texture and, unlike their big brothers, actual flavor to the pie.

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The Mother Earth, adorned with just zucchini, radicchio, and arugula, sounds light on flavor in comparison. It wasn't. The veggies stayed crisp despite their trip into the gas-assisted wood-fired oven, snapping pleasantly beneath the teeth. They retained their alternately sweet and bitter attributes well, brought out by the saltiness in the cheese.

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Both pizzas featured a perhaps-too-sweet sauce and aged mozzarella, which were fine but not memorable. The same could be said of the soft-in-the-center-crackery-around-the-outside crust, which lacked structural strength or any particularly flavorful characteristics, though it did get some nice char on the undercarriage. It really was just a toppings-delivery device, albeit a serviceable one.

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The toppings get all the attention here at the Novelty Hill/Januik Winery, but they're good enough to warrant stopping by for a hot pie if you're in town for a tasting. The winery grounds are also nice for a quiet stroll past their herb garden and for a view of the barreling operation. Do note that the pizzas are only served on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4:30pm.

Novelty Hill/Januik Winery

14710 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE, Woodinville, WA 98072 (map)
425-481-5502; noveltyhillwines.com

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