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Tag: pizza (page 2 of 3)

A Fabulous Looking Slice of Pizza

Pizza from dinner a few nights back. The base was made of organic whole wheat and it came from Harry’s Farmers Market, Marietta. A packet of 2 pizza bases costs $4.99, if I remember correctly. For the first time, I made a pizza sauce with tomato paste, fresh basil, thyme and freshly ground black pepper. Toppings included red, yellow and orange bell peppers, sliced onions and shredded vegetarian organic mozzarella cheese.

Verdict? The pizza looked fabulous! As far as taste goes, the sauce was a little too sour. I think I should have added some sugar to cut the tartness. Tomato having such a dominant flavor, I couldn’t do much else… 🙁

Whole Foods… Sigh.

This is not a post about Whole Foods Market. I was at the branch on Roswell Road last week. S and I had stopped there for getting groceries, and I thought she would like taking a look around the store with its fabulous products, assortment of cheeses, chocolates, herbal products, snacks, etc. She loved the place, obviously. She couldn’t stop gaping at the amazing array of products, aisle to aisle.

We decided to lunch at the in-store cafe. There is a hot bar, a cold bar, a fresh salad bar, a pizza station, prepared meals section. And maybe another category that escapes me. For vegetarians, the options are many, oh-so many! The soups are good (do check the ingredient list written up on the card placed before each soup pot), my favorite being the Tomato Zucchini one. Although I am not a big fan of cold foods, the cold bar has a million attractive options ranging from crispy tofu and stir-fry vegetables salad to chocolate mousse. The food is displayed attractively under low-light lamps. The only complaint I could possibly have is about the price. If I remember right, it is $7.99 per lb. of food in your plate. I don’t eat here often but I’d probably pay that price, if I had to get lunch in this neighborhood.

What did I get for lunch? Unusual for me, I picked up two slices of pizza. Or maybe it wasn’t so unusual after all. I had had a meager breakfast, and my tummy was making its usual embarassingly loud rumbling sounds. I picked a slice of Roasted Red Pepper and Portabello Mushroom Pizza, and another of Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil. The sweet girl behind the counter offered to put the slices back into the oven so they would be piping hot. By the way, the display slices are placed on a heated surface anyway. I am just a little anal about the temperature of my pizza.

Excellent! It was not my favorite traditional flatbread Italian pizza but a deliciously cheesy American one it was. I managed to chomp my way through both the slices, leaving behind the thick ends of the crust. I could have done with lesser cheese but this is such an occasional indulgence for me that I let go. Besides, it was a gorgeously sunny day, the store was quietly bustling, and we had a day of good fun ahead. Who am I to resist?

Here is a picture of the fabulous display of pastries and sweet treats from the store. With such an array of choices, I am plain dumbfounded.


Whole Foods Market
5930 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30328
404-236-0810
www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/sandysprings/

At Vingenzo’s where it ends on a sweet note

Visited Vingenzo’s again. Last weekend, if I remember right. P got an email from them informing about the special of the day – Roasted Sweet Potato Gnocchi Sage Hazelnut Butter. Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? So off we went. Besides, our last dining experience there was so good that I’d have been game going to Vingenzo’s anyway.

I suppose it was Friday night because the restaurant was full. Thankfully, we got a table pretty soon. Not that I’d have minded waiting. I love the cheery vibe of this place. As we were waiting, we thought we would get something to drink. From the non-alcoholic drinks menu, we picked the Limoncello. The youthful bartender told us that it was a lemonade-y drink with fresh basil infused. Sad to say, I couldn’t discern any flavors of basil. Tasted like a regular lemonade, and a tad too tart for me to enjoy… 🙁

This time, we decided to pick something from the mozzarella bar. I wish I could remember what kind of cheese we got. It was possibly Bufala (buffalo mozzarella, I suppose?), light and stringy. It came with roasted cherry tomatoes, peppers and capers. Missed taking a picture of the lovely platter. Hmmm, maybe they drizzled some balsamic vinegar alongside too. Very delicious, simple and flavorful.

We had to get the special, didn’t we? We also ordered a basic Margharita Pizza. San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella and basil. Verdict? The pizza was good. As always, the base was thin and crispy. The cheese was half-melted, ready to flow out of the pizza! A little too stringy, I thought. Tasty, nonetheless.

Our daily special? Kinda disappointing! The flavors were predominantly sweet, lacked any other contrasting flavor. We asked for some freshly ground pepper which made a little bit of a difference. The flavor of sage could hardly be detected in the midst of all that sweetness. The gnocchi was sprinkled with hazelnuts, so at least there was a crunch to the dish. Disappointing and expensive ($19), I thought.


Thankfully, dessert salvaged the rest of the meal. Chocolate hazelnut gelato, YUM! Not very dark, neither too bitter nor sweet… perfectly creamy and rich. Loved it.

I suppose I should mention that more often than not, buffalo mozzarella is made using animal rennet. At least, that has been my experience whenever I have gone out looking to buy it. Besides, I am 99% sure that most cheese that comes from Italy uses animal rennet. Let me just say that sometimes, super-soft buffalo mozzarella makes this vegetarian a little weak in her knees.

Vingenzo’s
105 E. Main Street, #105
Woodstock, GA 30188
770-924-9133

www.vingenzos.com

Vingenzo’s Neopolitan Cuisine

Remember I mentioned about this nice Italian place that we were planning to go to until P expressed a desire to eat something fiery and sinus-opening? So that place was Vingenzo’s. And we went last evening. Short and sweet verdict: Excellent.
 
For a Tuesday evening, the place was bustling and crackling. Our server mentioned too that it was a busy night. The restaurant was almost full, each table filled with happy diners, relishing the last few days of 2010. Thankfully, we had called ahead and reserved a table, although I’d think that on a regular Tuesday, it should be simple getting a table even without reservations.
 
We started off with a plate of Caprese. It featured roasted cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. Fairly nice, I thought. The cheese was a little stringy but soft, nonetheless. The roasted cherry tomatoes exploded lightly in the mouth, a nice sweet-sour combination. They also served some balsamic vinegar (?) and salad greens to go along.
 
We got the Verdure Arrostite pizza and the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola Dolce Spinach. Nice, nice, nice! We visited NY a couple of months back and ended up eating pizza at this authentic Italian place (can’t recall the name but it was on Bleeker Street, maybe?). It was a Margherita, if I remember right. Tomatoes, cheese, basil on a flatbread base. The flavors were fresh, the cheese was bubbling and the base was crisp. Then P ended up going to NYC for an office trip and he came back with a gigantic slice of pizza from Grimaldi’s. That was fabulous too. Fresh tomatoes, basil, red peppers, olives… if I recall correctly. Oh, it was one delightful pizza slice. Let me just say, eating pizza at these Italian joints totally ruins the experience of getting takeout from any of the regular American pizza places. Well, I do like the regular American pizza loaded with cheese and tomato sauce, all on a thick base, just once in a rare while. But when you sample a slice of pizza at an authentic Italian place, you realize that you can walk away feeling light and not like you have a stone in your stomach, weighing you down… Know what I mean?
 
The Verdure Arrostite featured wood fire roasted vegetables (eggplant, onions, maybe red peppers?), roasted cherry tomatoes, latte fresco mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and aged Parmigiana Reggiano. Let me say upfront that I don’t know what latte fresco mozzarella is but I can say that this was one of the lightest and tastiest pizzas I have ever eaten.  I almost wish that they had a more generous serving of cheese on it… 🙂
 
The Gnocchi was rich and creamy – pretty heavenly, I thought! The potato dumplings were so nicely done, none of the “doughy” texture, and perfectly soaking up the cheese and cream. The spinach was beautifully cooked too; it didn’t have the raw look-feel but it wasn’t wilted at all! The portion size was perfect – Can you imagine eating a bowl of potato dumplings with Gorgonzola cream sauce and spinach without feeling like you need a couch to nap on afterward?
 
 
 
Dessert? Pistachio gelato (for P) and a flourless Chocolate Almond Cake for me. Pure yumminess. The gelato tasted of toasted pistachios and it was a perfect combination of rich creaminess and subtle sweetness. As for the flourless cake, it only tasted better (if that’s possible even) this afternoon.
 
The menu has multiple options for vegetarians, an assortment of gelato flavors, a cool and casual vibe, and nice staff. I can see us going there again. And again.

Vingenzo’s
105 E. Main Street, #105
Woodstock, GA 30188
770-924-9133
www.vingenzos.com