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Even longtime disciples of Hyde Park's Tutto Italiano may still have a thing or two to discover. This gustatory goldmine for gourmet tastes related to everyone's favorite boot-shaped peninsula has a secret. Under the watchful eyes of the requisite Azzurri poster, and alongside the finest in cured meats, cheeses, artisan bread, olive oils, and pasta (to name only a few of my favorites), the punctual may find some secretly great pizza.
Full disclosure: enjoyment of the Sicilian-style sheet (their term) pizza from Tutto Italiano requires some effort. First, the slices are only available in scant quantities daily. I left empty handed on three occasions before having the wisdom to call ahead. Second, they are wrapped in plastic and stacked upon the counter. Therefore, unless you're a devotee of the cold slice (and I know you're out there), you're going to need access to an oven.
Upon the advice of the paternal proprietor I opted for a slow-and-low approach for the home reheat. After about ten minutes of obsessively stalking the oven, I went in for the kill. The results were well worth the effort. The crust retained a moist sponginess, resisting just enough to make the crunch at the bottom a real payoff. The sauce held on to recent memories of time in a garden highlighted by fresh hits of tomato and oregano. The cheese, selectively browned from its initial visit to the oven, would likely have benefitted from a slightly longer reheat. However, I was more than willing to sacrifice some elasticity up top to prevent some potential dehydration in the middle. In fact, to allay precisely such concerns, Tutto Italiano also offers a six-inch round pizza cooked without cheese. Take it home, cheese it, heat it, and Bob's your uncle.
Good Sicilian-style slices are a rare commodity in this part of the world. Little did I know that some of the best could be found in a quiet, family-run market, wrapped in plastic. Oh, and did I mention they're only $1.50?
About the author: Ed Kearns is on Twitter. Follow him at your own risk: erk3