May 31, 2012 08:58AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Pizza is my favorite food, so it was no surprise that I jumped at the chance to try out Girasole Pizza.
Girasole – sunflower in Italian – is a little bit of Italian warmth tucked away in a small shopping center off East Bidwell Street.
We were greeted warmly and shown to our table in the small dining room (just eight tables) where Latin/bossa nova music played quietly. Burgundy tablecloths and candles in crystal helped set the mood for a relaxed meal focused on thin-crust pizza and fresh, local ingredients.
First off, we chose Portobello and Eggplant from their antipasti menu – a huge portobello mushroom roasted with garlic and lemon, filled with eggplant, roasted cherry tomatoes and Gorgonzola. It was melt-in-your-mouth Italian comfort food to the max! My garden salad was adorned with a delicious homemade ranch dressing, while my husband’s Sausalito (baby spinach salad) featured light, tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Girasole’s version of my favorite pizza, Margherita, did not disappoint. Topped with fior di latte (mozzarella from cow’s milk), cherry tomatoes and basil, it was mouthwatering. My husband’s choice of the 20-plus pizzas was the Spagnola, strewn with tomato sauce, Spanish sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, red onions and mozzarella. The sausage added just the right amount of sweet and spicy zest to the bright vegetables. One of Girasole’s owners told us he loves to experiment with different kinds of pizza – always featuring simple, fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets. He
invited me to return when heirloom tomatoes are in season. Experimentation by the chef/owner has also resulted in the best thin crust – with just the right flavor and just the right crisp – I’ve tasted yet.
We ended our meal with the Chocolate Lava Cake – pleasantly less sweet than others versions, this one filled with semi-dark chocolate. A dollop of whipped mascarpone provided the right blend of savory and sweet.
I’m anticipating my return to this pizza lover’s paradise, and until then, it’ll be included on my route for take out!
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