pizzeria bianco with mike and ellen
623 E Adams St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Hours :: Tuesday - Saturday :: 5PM – 10PM
Reservations are taken for groups of 6 – 10 only.
Takeout is not available at this time.
Private parties are not accepted at this time.
yes, i know...this is from awhile back...and i never had the chance to finish it up and post it! i've been a hair busy but i really wanted to share this because for one, mike and ellen are awesome and they drove all the way from tucson just to meet up with annie and i to eat here. and two, my friend gordon asked me what i thought, and i said i was going to write a post...so here it is.
again, thank you mike and ellen for driving the long distance from tucson to phoenix to come join us for some pizza and the two bottles of wine!
pizzeria bianco also belongs to Chef Chris Bianco, co-owner of pane bianco, the sandwich place that i wrote about awhile back. his pizzeria is extremely well-known in the phoenix area. chef bianco won a james beard award for his pizza and we just had to check it out. the restaurant opens at 5 pm and you have got to get there before it opens to try and be part of the first seating or you will wait a good hour and a half or two. we struggled a bit with finding parking, but finally found a structure to park in. luckily mike and ellen arrived first, but we weren't part of the first seating so we waited. next door to pizzeria bianco is bar bianco, where you can chill, have some wine and there is a small menu of snacky things like olives.
i love the old brick buildings that were converted into businesses...so much more character! when i was living in vegas and looking for a place to open up a restaurant, its just strip mall after strip mall. BORING!! anyhow...we sat on the porch over at the bar and enjoyed the beautiful weather and company.
it really was a beautiful night, and i love how the sky was kind of pinkish/purplish. this picture was taken from outside in the grassy courtyard between the pizzeria and bar.
after a good long wait, we were finally inside and we were ready to eat! (hands rubbing together in eager anticipation)
first out...some crusty bread with olive oil...
we perused the menu and finally decided on four pizzas. Starting from the top left going clockwise: biancoverde, rosa, marinara with anchovies, wiseguy with cremini mushrooms.
we also got a market salad to share...
it had arugula, shaved pecorino, honey almonds, apples and was tossed in a apple cider vinaigrette. it was a nice basic salad, peppery and light. the honey almonds were ground up which was really a shame. the sweet almonds would've been a great contrast to help balance out the pepperiness of the salad while of course giving that crunchy texture it needed. overall, it was alright.
pizza #1: rosa - red onion, parmigiano reggiano, rosemary, AZ pistachios...
does this seem like an odd combination of ingredients on pizza? perhaps...but let me say, i love every ingredient individually on there except...go ahead...you know which one i don't care for...the rosemary. but let me say...i freaking love love LOVED this pizza! i loved it so much i don't even have to look at my notes to talk about it! anytime something stands out in my mind and on my tongue...its like that memory of what i ate comes back to me instantly and just takes over my body. i remember how i felt when i took i bite and how the sweet red onions had a little crunch, which was so perfectly balanced with the cheese and pistachios! i really liked that it was crushed up and all over the entire pizza. the crust was excellent, nice and thin, a little crusty. i haven't even mentioned the rosemary yet...it was not overpowering at all. in fact, i don't even remember tasting it on there because the other flavors were so prominent and well balanced.
annie also loved this pizza and we just loved the combination of ingredients that totally made the pizza! all i know is that i would go back just for this one pizza alone. the onions, parm and pistachios were so damn delicious on here...i would easily wait for an hour and a half in the freezing cold just so i could get a seat in the restaurant for this pizza.
i say freezing cold because i've been checking out the food trucks lately, waiting in the freezing cold for like an hour just to get to the front so i could order...and some food was pretty good...others, very disappointing...but nothing that made me feel so compelled to say that i want to stand in line again for an hour. just another testament to how much i loved this pizza, i just finished a huge KBBQ dinner and i'm hungry thinking about this pizza. i am such a pig...its not even funny!
pizza #2: marinara with oregano, garlic, anchovies and 2 leaves of basil...
this pizza was very cheesy to me which is saying a lot, because i am a total cheese freak, i can't get enough cheese...ever! but this pizza did in fact make me stand back and take pause and evaluate my love for cheese. it was good, it was just a little too cheesy for me like i said and that was kind of a bummer. i should explain what i mean by cheesy...the parm is so strong that i think it was almost too overwhelming on my palette and nostrils. believe me...i am a huge lover of parmigiano reggiano...and i'm talking the real stuff that's been properly aged. it can be extremely pungent and in this case, i felt like it was a bit too much for me. but of course this was just my opinion. i will say that liked the baby arugula and i did enjoy it more when i added the crushed red pepper flakes.
this was ellen's favorite pizza of the night. she said that it reminded her of fettucini alfredo with crushed red peppers and also of how her grandma would make mac & cheese for her when she was a kid. this pizza brought back happy childhood memories for her...and i thought that was really cool.
see how food affects each of us so differently? i love that about food and what it does for each person! food should always make us smile and feel all warm and fuzzy. i hate bad food...i know...hate is such a strong word, but its true! certain things just bring back bad memories...and food shouldn't be one of those things! there are foods that make us cringe...oh man...a bad nut! like when you're eating peanut m&m's and you bite into it and the nut is all nasty! blech! i hate that! it tastes so gross and it just makes you want to spit it all out! you know you've all experienced a bad nut at least once in your life! unless you're allergic to nuts like my friend kimmie, then no, she wouldn't know what its like.
wiseguy - wood roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella, fennel sausage and we added cremini mushrooms...
there were huge chunks of sausage which kind of sucks, especially if you're splitting the pizza with others. i mean, look at that huge piece at 8 o'clock! some lucky son of a gun is going to get it and then whoever gets the piece at 7 o'clock is S.O.L! you know what i'm trying to say?! that is wrong! plus you know my whole thing about getting perfect bites. i'd like at least a bite of sausage in at least every other bite of pizza. And that giant piece of sausage is going in your mouth in one bite because its not glued down with cheese and its one of those things that when you bite down, you might not be able to break it off and you've got to just take the whole thing in. *sigh*
geez, that whole paragraph was only on the sausage! ok...the onions were big and sweet, crunchy too...good texture. the smoked mozzarella was a nice balance with the earthy mushrooms. this pizza was overall ok...it definitely sounded much better than it actually tasted. sadly, this was no ones favorite pizza of the night.
ellen and mike were awesome eating companions!! they were down to eat anything and everything! i would love to see them again on my next visit to arizona! they told us about some cool little places in tucson that i would love to check out with them.