Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Last Visit to Pizzeria Bianco, sans Chris Bianco

My wife and I were back in Phoenix and we had to make our pilgrimage to Pizzeria Bianco. I don't really have any pictures (shame on me), but here's our most recent story.

We arrived at about 4 pm and the line was already out to about Bar Bianco. People who got there at 3:30, ahead of us, didn't make the first seating either. Our plan is to always aim for the second seating, so we can hang out and enjoy Bar Bianco.

Friends always ask, "is it worth a three-hour wait?" Yes, and the wait isn't that bad if you're expecting it and plan for it. We saw Chris through the windows, prepping the oven and for the opening. At 5 PM, the hostess estimated we would get seated at 7:30, so we found comfy chairs in the Bar. There were a lot of visitors and newbies, including a couple from New York who we chatted with during our wait.

After a bottle of wine and some amazing snacks (crostini with local goat cheese and local EVOO and some American prosciutto), we got seated at 7 PM (the wait usually isn't as long as quoted). Perfect.

We were surprised to NOT see Chris in front of the oven. It turns out he was a bit under the weather, so he left early. This was our first time having a pizza that Chris hadn't touched (well, I'm assuming he made the dough and cheese).

Chris has an assistant who is more than capable, it turns out, of managing the oven... the pizzas tasted just as good as always:
  • Wise guy (white pizza w/ roasted onions, fennel sausage, and smoked mozzarella)
  • Rosa (white pizza w/ red onion, Arizona pistachios, and a bit of rosemary -- as usual, we asked to have salami added)
The roasted vegetable appetizer, with the usual soppresata and pecorino romano cheese, was ouststanding, as usual.

While it was disappointing to not see Chris, it was better than having them close early (or having a germy pizza, I suppose). I'm glad he has an understudy (as I thought Chris famously touched any pizza that was ever made there).

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