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Takeout Pizza from Dolce Vita

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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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