Orvieto Pizzeria and Wine Bar
2200 N. Ashland Ave (GoogleMaps)
CPC invaded Orvieto Pizzeria and Wine Bar on 3/30/10.
Continuing a small trend of visits to pizzerias using gas ovens, we headed to the relatively new Orvieto Pizzeria which opened in November of last year. Housed in the same space as Green Dolphin Street, a jazz club, Orvieto Pizzeria and Wine Bar occupies the eastern half of the building. The interior is somewhat confusing; there is a sleek looking kitchen producing great food that clashes with a large number of flat screen HDTVs set out in a bar-like atmosphere. I found myself enjoying this contrasting decor, but then again, I would rather watch sports than talk to my friends. I'm not sure if it's a date spot or a place to come watch the MMA fight.
The chef, Nino Coronas, is from Sardegna (Sardinia), an island off the mainland of Italy. Orvieto represents his first American turn as executive chef. He worked at both Pizzeria D.O.C. (review)and Trattoria D.O.C. prior to their sale. Coronas calls his pizza just regular Italian thin crust pizza and noted that he credits his crisp crust to his cooking technique and use of 00 pizza flour. He has settled on my favorite sandwich shop, Bari Foods, which is also an Italian grocery store with a nice meat section, to provide his sausage. Being that Sardegna is an island, one might expect a multitude of seafood offerings at Orvieto. Seafood is indeed their specialty and Coronas told me that he plans on adding even more options in the summertime and plans on doing a seafood pizza as well.
It's a long trip from Italy to the Chicago. I would have packed socks and underwear, maybe a book; Nino brought his oven with him. The pizzas are cooked at 675 degrees in a Moretti Forni oven in their open kitchen. They have recently opened a North American branch and are headquartered here in Chicago. These ovens are gigantic, but there's no denying that they are attractive pieces of machinery. His 13-inch pizza cooks in here for 6 minutes before it's sliced and brought to the table.
We ordered the following pizza:
- Rustica (sausage, onions, mozzarella, tomato sauce)
- Calabrese (sopressata, tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola, jalapeño)
- Al Tartufo (white pizza, truffle oil, mushrooms, mozzarella, speck)
- Patate e Rosemarino (yukon potatoes, rosemary, mozzarella)
- Prosciutto Cotto e Funghi (prosciutto cotto, tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms)
And now, I leave you with a few fun facts about Sardinia:
- There are proportionally more centenarians in Sardegna than anywhere else in the world. Must be the olive oil and ocean air.
- They speak Sard there. It's an amalgamation of all languages from civilizations that have inhabited the island.
- There is apparently a small island of miniature albino donkeys just off the coast of Sardinia. I'm not kidding.