A Pizza Story
This restaurant has closed.
A Pizza Story in Maplewood has had a lot of hype and good reviews since it opened a few months ago, so I was excited when I finally made my way over. I was expecting a big crowd, considering the amount of people at nearby Schlafly Bottleworks, but we were one of only two tables seated the entire time we ate. Most peculiar, I thought.
The menu has a fair amount of appetizer and salad options, but we were there for pizza, so pizza is what we got. The first pizza was the [symple_highlight color="blue"]Fantasy[/symple_highlight], a tomato-based pie topped with prosciutto, burrata and arugula. Overall, this pizza was the favorite in both looks and flavor. Their tomato sauce has a nice rich flavor and while the dough is tasty, it is too bready for me. This thicker "Neapolitan" dough can't be accurately compared to Pastaria, The Good Pie or Pi. Its closest competition would be Katie's Pizzeria and Katie's Pizza & Pasta.
I'm still upset about our second pizza, the Fairytale. It was described as follows: "flavor-bursting wild mushrooms, Gruyere cheese, and rosemary". That sounds good, right? As they slid it in front of me, my nose knew it had been deceived. There was the overwhelming scent of truffles - dipped in gasoline. They committed the cardinal sin of drenching the pizza with truffle oil, one of my least favorite ingredients on earth. Why do that? And why not include that on the menu? I'm sure this pizza would have been perfectly adequate with just the ingredients listed. Normal roasted mushrooms paired with rosemary and the funk of Gruyere sounds like a woodsy French pizza I'd enjoy.
The truffle oil ruined it. This pizza was barely touched.
One of the more creative options was the Adventure, a Spanish tapas inspiration. The sharp taste of green olive was subdued by toasted pistachios, sundried tomatoes and one of my favorite cheeses: manchego. I wasn't blown away by this - it felt like it was missing something to me - but I still enjoyed it, as did my family.
I will add A Pizza Story to my list of restaurants that I would be fine eating at with friends, but would most likely not pick myself. The pizzas didn't pack a punch that made me remember them the way the best pizzerias do. After eating at places like Pizzeria Mozza, Pastaria, and Two Amy's, I became obsessed, wanting to try every pizza they had on the menu. The same cannot be said here for me. For this style, I'd rather go to Katie's Pizza & Pasta not too far away; I think their ingredients, flavors and dough are superior.
The next pizza places on my list to write about and shoot are Pizzeoli and a return to The Good Pie.