周圍食 Aug’13:California Pizza Kitchen

My ratings: ❤❤❤❤
Price range: $$

Quite surprised to find a decent pizza chain. The pizza are similar to Neapolitan pizza, and has a good flavourful crust. The other main dishes are a bit average in comparison in terms of tastes and selections.

0813 Cocktail (California Pizza Kitchen)Cocktail

0813 Portobello Mushroom Ravioli (California Pizza Kitchen)Portobello Mushroom Ravioli
Rosemary ravioli with Portobello, herbs, and cheese. Topped with Italian tomatoes, basil and garlic or roasted garlic. Parmesan sauce. Sautéed mushrooms.

0813 Sicilian (California Pizza Kitchen)Sicilian
Rustic meets refined.
Spicy marinara, rustic sausage, spicy Capicola ham, salami, Montery Jack, Mozzarella, shaved Parmesan and basil.

0813 California Club (California Pizza Kitchen)California Club
Applewood smoked bacon, grilled chicken and Mozzarella, hearth-baked, then topped with avocado and field greens, basil and Romaine tossed in lemon pepper mayo

Click here to see my other reviews on the local dining scene (2013).

California Pizza Kitchen
2374 0032

Chicago Eats: Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta

Food was very salty, and the pie was terrible. The crust was dry and flavourless, it was almost like eating thick cardboard. The filling didn’t taste that fresh either. Quite disappointed because the ratings seemed promising.

My ratings: ❤❤
Price range: $$

0413 Italian Wedding Soup (Pizano's)Italian Wedding Soup
Miniature Italian meatballs are simmered in a chicken broth with onions, celery, spinach & pasta

0413 Italian Beef Sandwich 1 (Pizano's) 0413 Italian Beef Sandwich 2 (Pizano's)Italian Beef Sandwich
Fresh sliced beef seasoned the Italian way with Sweet Peppers

0413 Deep dish sausage pizza (Pizano's)Deep dish sausage pizza
Such a pretty pie, but it didn’t taste as good as it looked

Click here to see my other reviews on the local dining scene.

Pizano's Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon

Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta
864 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610, United States

Chicago Eats: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

✣ Top pick ✣

I always thought deep dish pizza = pizza with a very hard and thick crust. I thought I would never like it, but I would still give it a try if I’m ever in Chicago. So in April 2013, I had my very first deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s, and I am complete convert to this delicious pie (has to be a quality one though, as later on I had a terrible pie during my trip in Chicago….). The buttercrust is light and crispy, yet it is able to hold all those delicious fillings inside the pie. Great atmosphere and excellent service as well!

My ratings: ❤❤❤❤❤
Price range: $$

0413 Beef sandwich 1 0413 Beef sandwich 2Beef sandwich
Tender beef smothered with melted mozzarella, with sweet peppers and french fries
This classic sandwich is a must-try, if you still have room for it after having the deep dish pie

0413 The Maltani Chicago Classic 1 0413 The Maltani Chicago Classic 2 0413 The Maltani Chicago Classic 30413 The Maltani Chicago Classic 4 0413 The Maltani Chicago Classic 5
The Maltani Chicago Classic
Made with Lou’s lean sausage, some extra cheese and vipe-ripened tomato sauce on Buttercrust. It’s authentic Chicago!

Click here to see my other reviews on the local dining scene.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
805 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60605

Kingston Eats: Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza

✣ Top pick ✣

This is good quality pizza 😀 The pizza is very good and fresh.  There are nearly 3 dozen custom-made toppings to choose from (beware: not all are hits), and the other half of the menu has a wide selection of tapas, salad, panini, and Italian dishes to choose from.  If you get a chance give the non-pizza items a go, they are equally terrific.

Woodenheads has a lovely brick fire oven 😛  They produce a distinctive, very thin and crusty savoury crust (Woodenhead’s crust is chewier than Atomica’s crust.  Atomica has a thin crispy crust).  One of the hallmarks of great pizza is a crust so compelling you could eat it by itself.   The crust is nearly perfect and is definitely a good bread 😀 While Atomica converted me to like (good quality) pizza, I think Woodenheads has the better crust.  If you like Pizza, and I mean quality pizza, not the junk that comes to your door, then you will enjoy this restaurant.   Dessert is made in house and fresh to order.  Definitely don’t miss this part out when you get a chance to sit-in.

P.S. While Woodenheads seems slightly cheaper than Atomica, their pizza is around 10” in diameter, whereas Atomica’s pizza is 12” in diameter.

My ratings: ❤❤❤❤❤
Price range: $$-$$$$

0311 WoodenheadsFire Brick Oven

0311 Lumpia Diavolo (Woodenheads)Lumpia Diavolo
Spring rolls stuffed with blackened chicken, feta cheese and red cabbage, served with cambazola cream sauce and papaya habenero salsa

0411 Insalata Estate (Woodenheads)Insalata Estate
Roasted red potato, artichoke and mustard greens in lemon chili roast garlic vinaigrette, topped with blackened chicken breast and mustard seed sauce – ‘favoloso!’

0411 Pesce da Nizza 1 (Woodenheads) 0411 Pesce da Nizza 2 (Woodenheads)Pesce da Nizza
Halibut filet on tomato, potato, artichoke and asparagus salad with vinegrette de nizza.
Special of the day.  The halibut was nicely cooked.  It was buttery and flaky without being too dry.

0311 Margherita (Woodenheads)Margherita
Tomato sauce, tomatoes, bocconcini and basil
With added roasted garlic, but it didn’t really stand out 😦

0311 Cacciatore (Wooden Heads)Cacciatore
Pomodoro sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, pancetta, lemon chicken
Personal favourite out of the pizzas I have tried at Woodenheads.  Don’t miss out the pancetta, it’s very good!

0311 Quattro Stagione (woodenheads)Quattro Stagione
Tomato sauce, salami sporessada, scallops, artichoke, mushrooms, mozzarella

0411 Dynamo (Wooden Heads)Dynamo
Pesto, roasted roma tomatoes, feta, smoked chicken, honey drizzle
This is another good one.  Feta wasn’t too salty and the tomatoes were plump and fresh.

0511 Porcini veloute, portabello slices, grape tomatoes, asparagus spears, prosciutto & romano shavings (Woodenheads)(Special)
Porcini veloute, portabello slices, grape tomatoes, asparagus spears, prosciutto & romano shavings
Not too impressed with the prosciutto, I’ve had better elsewhere.

0412 Nonna Mela (Woodenheads)

Nonna Mela
Apple butter, roast garlic, cheddar, sweet onions, blackened chicken

0412 Arrogosta (Woodenheads)Arrogosta
Curried lobster veloute, smoked cheese, blackened chicken, banana chili and black olives

0311 Strawberry Phyllo Lasagna with Chocolate Mousse (Woodenheads)Strawberry Phyllo Lasagna with Chocolate Mousse

0311 Dark and white chocolate pear calzone 1 (Woodenheads) 0311 Dark and white chocolate pear calzone 2 (Woodenheads)
Dark and White Chocolate Pear Calzone
It is a hot-warm dessert.  Very nice bread dough with lots of pear and white chocolate fillings inside.  It is not oversweet.  It is very big and filling so leave room for the pear calzone.  I actually had dreams about it weeks after I ordered it 😆

Click here to see my other reviews on the local dining scene.

Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza on Urbanspoon

Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza

192 Ontario Street
Kingston, ON K7L 2Y8
(613) 549-1812


Kingston Eats: Atomica Gourmet Pizza & Wine Bar

Atomica uses fresh local ingredients and very top quality seasonal products.  I am a fussy eater when it comes to any dough-related food.  I refuse to eat mass produced store-bought bread.  That said, pizza dough will be something I have high standards for. I am also picky with my pizza topping, too much cheese and oil is a big turn-off to me.  My mom always told me authentic Neapolitan style pizza is nothing like their American counterpart, so in my mind I always wanted to get a chance to try artisan pizza before I decide I don’t like pizza.

I really wasn’t a fan of pizza before I went to Atomica.  After my first visit to Atomica, I was converted.  The pizzas are sparsely topped with just a few, choice ingredients (as compared to American pizza where it’s loaded up with layer after layer of meats, vegetable and cheese).  The pizza is then baked quickly, at a high temperature, in a wood fired stove which delivers a crust that is crisp but chewy, thin but not crackery (I must say the bread is very important to a good pizza).  Atomica offers a wide array of gastronomic delight 😆

I am still a huge fan of Atomica, even though there bread (sometimes too dry, crackery, and a bit burnt) isn’t up to par Woodenhead’s .  Atomica’s topping is mind blowing.  Ingredients changes seasonally.  Get the Funghi pizza, it’s a pizza you’ll dream about after you tried it.

P.S. While Atomica seems slightly more expensive than Woodenheads, their pizza is 12” in diameter, whereas Woodenhead’s pizza is 10” in diameter.

℘ Atomica is a member of “Local Food Local Chef”, a Kingston initiative to promote the area as a destination of culinary tourism

℘ Sister restaurants with Le Chien Noir & Harper’s.

My ratings: ❤❤❤❤
Price range: $$-$$$$

0111 Atomica0511 Atomica0111 Warm Olives (Atomica)Warm Olives

0212 Anatra (Atomica)Anatra
Five spice cream, duck confit, brie, scallions, pomegrante-balsamic glaze

0612 Fungi Pizza (Atomica)Funghi
Basil pesto cream, shiitake, king oyster & cremini mushrooms, garlic, parmesan, truffle oil
My top pick of all time.  It’s a beautiful marriage between mushrooms and flavour from heaven.  It’s hard to pick other options when this one pizza is good enough to win over the rest offered on the menu.

0411 Mela e Brie (Atomica)Mela e Brie
Apple butter, brie, roasted chicken, pancetta, arugula, red onion
I wasn’t too fond of this one.  The pancetta was quite dry 😦

0511 Retro (Atomica)Retro
Basil pesto, mozzarella, roasted chicken, sundried tomato, roasted red peppers, herbed goat cheese

0611 Atomica Pizza

La bomba spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, calabrese salami, pepperoncini

0111 Milanese Vanilla Gelato (Atomica)Milanese Vanilla Gelato

Click here to see my other reviews on the local dining scene.

Atomica on Urbanspoon

Atomica Gourmet Pizza & Wine Bar

71 Brock Street
Kingston, ON K7L 2Z9
(613) 530-2118


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