Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pizzeria Posto: New Brunch Menu

This past Saturday, while out driving and pondering a place for lunch, I finally selected Pizzeria Posto in Somerville, off Davis Square. I hadn't eaten there yet, had heard some excellent reviews about the place, and the menu had enticed me. I was not aware that it was also the initial debut of their new Brunch menu.

The restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Joe Cassinelli, who most recently had been the Chef de Cuisine at L’Andana in Burlington, one of my favorite restaurants. So that was a very good sign to me. The basic food menu includes a diverse variety of antipasti, insalate, pasta dishes and wood-fired pizza. They are dedicated to the spirit of Neapolitan style pizza and follow the rules and guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Those rules govern such requirements as the type of oven to be used, the necessary ingredients and techniques of pizza making. This may be the first pizzeria in Massachusetts which is a member of this organization.

The restaurant is visually very appealing, a simple elegance with an open kitchen and large windows facing Elm Street. You can also dine at their outside patio area. When seating people, the hostess spaced the parties well, allowing some element of privacy, rather than trying to pack everyone into one close section. We sipped some fresh brewed iced tea while perusing the brunch menu.

The brunch menu has some antipasti, paninis, frittatas, breakfast dishes and pizzas. There is a good selection of choices, and many sounded very appealing. We decided to start with the Arancini ($5), which come in a pomodoro sauce. This was an impressive dish, four good-sized arancini which were absolutely delicious. A nice crisp exterior, and a very cheesy interior with lots of harmonious flavors. The pomodoro sauce was quite nice, with what seemed to be bits of garlic and onion, and I eagerly devoured the arancini. At this price, the dish is a very good value too.

After this high though, matters sunk to a low as there was a very lengthy delay in the receipt of our entrees. I watched other people, who sat down after us, receive their food before us. Our waitress came over at one point and stated our entrees were almost ready, but it took fifteen more minutes before they arrived. We received an apology with our food, with an explanation that this was their first brunch and they were having some issues. It still put a damper on our meal.

Fortunately, the food was top notch. The Verdura Frittata was quite large, accompanied by a salad and potatoes. It was cooked just right, with plenty of fresh vegetables and lots of creamy goat cheese. Very delectable. I went with the Poco Pizza ($11), which comes with Fior di latte, basil and olive oil. I chose to add some roasted garlic, a soft farm egg, Vermont goat cheese and prosciutto (+$10).

This was a good-sized pizza, sliced into four pieces, and is plentiful enough for one person, or even two if you are not too hungry or ordering a bunch of other items too. It was a bit disconerting at first that the prosciutto had been added after the pizza was cooked, especially as it was a bit cold to the touch. In most other places, the prosciutto is baked atop the pizza, making a nice crispy meat. But, the prosciutto warmed up quickly from the rest of the pizza, though it did not become crispy. I really enjoyed the taste of the pizza, and they did not skimp on toppings, with lots of prosciutto atop it. The thin crust was just right, both properly chewy and crunchy, and the cheeses were creamy and smooth. I enjoyed the taste of the silky smooth and salty prosciutto, and it was simply a different, not lesser, taste than if it had been baked with the pizza. All in all, an excellent pizza and I would love to try some of their other intriguing pizzas.

As I went to pay the bill, they stated they would not charge us for the Arancini and iced teas, to make up for the service delay. That was a very nice gesture on their part, definitely creating good will. They should have been a bit more proactive about informing us of the delay, and the reasons for such, but they did resolve the matter in a satisfactorily manner.

Their food is impressive and reasonably priced, and I will return again, especially as I want to try plenty of other dishes, including their pasta. For now, they receive my recommendation, with hopes that the service delay was an aberration and not the norm. When I have heard others speak of this place, I have not heard complaints about service so I strongly suspect it was abnormal.

I'll report again on my future visits there.

Pizzeria Posto
187 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
Phone: (617) 625-0600

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