It's hard to know whether Dan Guild knew just how incredibly popular his pizzeria would be when he moved from New Haven, Connecticut to Boise, Idaho and opened Casanova. All that can be said with any certainty is that the crowds flocking here day in and day out aren't going to let up anytime soon.
Guild claims he started Casanova because he couldn't find New Haven-style pizza anywhere in the area, but the funny thing is, I don't think the pizza he's making now is strictly New Haven-style either. In fact, I'd say it's more Neapolitan-inspired, with some New Haven influence, especially on the toppings. The menu covers both bases. Margherita? Check. Clam pizza with bacon? Check.
This marriage of the two styles of pizza comes through in the best pie I had at Casanova, The Comet. The crust is made with high-protein Giusto flour and goes through a two day cold ferment before it's ready to be used. It emerges from the wood-fired oven thin in the center and puffy around the outer rim, with a good salt content, blond underside, and a slight crunch that quickly gives way to a dense, chewy interior.
The red sauce begins with a base of 6-in-1 tomatoes, which is then blended with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dried oregano and basil, and an infusion of garlic. It's bright and sweet, but not cloyingly so. Resting on top of the bed of salty aged mozzarella are large, thin discs of pepperoni, sliced tomatoes, and as the menu states, "lots of garlic." They aren't kidding; the chopped garlic is front and center, and it is delicious.
Only the fresh tomatoes felt superfluous. Since they bring no flavor to the party, they should never have been invited in the first place. That said, they don't hurt this pie, really, and they shouldn't discourage you from ordering it. Garlic-lovers who find themselves anywhere near Boise should flock to this pizza like hipsters to a Belle & Sebastian concert.
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