Takeout Pizza from Dolce Vita

Congealed cheese reflects lukewarm status.
Congealed cheese reflects lukewarm status.
Joanna O'Leary

Kevin Shalin's collection of EOW bloggers' favorite three pizza places got me hankering for some pizza and alerted me to the fact that I should look beyond Star Pizza for good pies.

The onset of the craving occurred when I was on my own one night. I didn't feel like eating alone in a restaurant, so I ordered takeout from Dolce Vita.

The voice on the end of the phone said it would be 20 minutes, not an unreasonable wait for eight o'clock on a weekend night. I arrived exactly 18 minutes after I placed the order and found it waiting for me on the bar. A gregarious manager ran my credit card and and made pleasant smalltalk: a sweet gesture, considering Dolce Vita seemed to be in the height of dinner business.

At home I discovered my order, a Melanzane pizza (to which I added pepperoni), was at best room temperature. (Note: Driving time between my house and Dolce Vita is five minutes). I should have inspected the pizza before heading home, but the friendly service distracted me from my usual takeout routine: check order, grab utensils, pay bill.

Ten minutes in the oven somewhat revived the pizza. I loved the thin, chewy crust, the ample layer of fresh mozzarella and the lightly grilled eggplant. The pepperoni were a little salty (can one really expect less from cured meat?), but the extra sodium seemed to enhance the flavor of the tomato sauce.

However....

$17 is a lot for a delicious, albeit relatively small, pizza. I grimaced a bit at the price when I thought I would be paying for a hot pizza; I was downright annoyed when I found I had purchased a lukewarm pie. Is the lesson here that one should always arrive early for pick-up food? Or that temperature expectations should always be lower for takeout? Yes and yes, perhaps, but I still think it's possible for pizza to stay hot for a longer window of time.



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Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

500 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77006-2932

713-520-8222

www.dolcevitahouston.com


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