STANZIATO’S WOOD FIRED PIZZA: 35 LAKE AVENUE EXTENSION, DANBURY
I just arrived in Houston and the brick oven temperature here reminded me to finish this post.
I’d never say Danbury doesn’t have any decent pizza – after all, it’s got a Pepe’s and a few other decent places (Nico’s downtown has long been an evening staple at The News-Times). However, after months of hearing and reading about the virtues of Matt Stanczak‘s Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza, I finally managed to get over there last week. I can safely say I’ll be going back.
Stanziato’s serves only fresh, whole Napoletana-style pies, proudly displaying signs warning anyone who might want to buy a slice that they simply don’t sell any. The pizza is cooked in a massive wood-burning oven that looks like something a foodie Darth Vader may have commissioned for the Death Star cafeteria (see photo below). Matt is active in the kitchen, but happy to take a moment to talk about his pizza (even when a certain blogger accidentally calls him Mike).
I sampled the white spinach (goat cheese, garlic, mozzarella, spinach) and Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano), both of which were fantastic.
The spinach pie was my favorite of the afternoon, with the spinach and mozzarella nicely offsetting the tang from the goat cheese and garlic.
The Margherita was very good, though I found the sauce to be a bit complex for such a simple pizza. CT Bites’ Amy Kundrat described it as “herby” in her review, and I would agree. Asked about his sauce philosophy, Matt revealed that the sauce is prepared cold, never heated until it hits the dough (I’m not saying that accounts for the flavor, just throwing it out there). It’s a good sauce on a great pizza, to be sure, but my preference would be for something a little more basic.
The dough was excellent, with a good char and chewy (though slightly dry) center.
In the end, I don’t think you’ll find a better pizza in Danbury – you’ll probably need 45 minutes by car to do that. Matt and his staff clearly care about their product and customers as well.
Now I’m stuck in Texas with a craving for good pizza… Not ideal.