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Monday, 23 April 2012

Sorrentino's - Give pizza a chance

What can I say about pizza that has not already been said? I've considered its evolution, categorized it, eaten it, made it, thought about it, appreciated it.... I've eaten at most places with "good" (i.e., Italian and not Canadian-style) pizza in Edmonton, though purists will contend that the truest of the true pizzas will never be found outside of Italy.

So what was left to try? I caught a rumour that Sorrentino's west end location recently hired a pizzaiolo (a pizza chef) from Italy.  I dug out my city map, figured out where the heck Wolf Willow was, and hauled myself off to this west end maze of crescents and courts with Darcy from Theinfiniteyums and my culinary partner in crime.

Dinner begins with a bold and assertive bottle of La Piazzola valpolicella. It is at once stocky and lithe, loud and demure, just as a good valp should be.

Salad arrives next. Mine is a panzanella salad that features tomatoes, bread, olives and capers tossed in a sturdy oil and vinegar dressing. These are strong and salty flavours that carry the potential to be obnoxious or overwhelming, but the bread cubes do a fine job of tempering these propensities.

We order two pizzas and, instead of ordering off the menu, ask the chef to surprise us. Pizza the first features chicken, fresh tomatoes and green onions. The chicken is lovely - moist and mild - but there are too many onions. The tomatoes, at least, are ripe. Too few restaurant tomatoes (except for canned ones) actually taste like a tomato should.

Pizza the second is simple: sauce, proscuitto, cheese. That's it. Nothing else is needed and that's the way it should be. The thin but not floppy crust stands up to these toppings with ease. I would have crisped up the proscuitto a bit and not layered the slices, but still, this is an immensely enjoyable pizza. I cannot speak firsthand about the veracity of these pizzas, but the proscuitto-cheese one already ranks among my top five favourites in Edmonchuk.
Sorrentino's West on Urbanspoon


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