May 4, 20154.0
eating with scissors
I was here for lunch. The restaurant is located upstairs in the Alt Hotel. Go on a sunny day, as we did, when the floor-to-ceiling windows will bathe the place in tons of natural light. Decoration is minimal — bare wood tables, painted-brick walls, an ironwork-type design to divide sections of the room. Overhead were several televisions showing the news in French, without sound — the better to hear the peppy music being played. Check out the interesting light fixtures,
The lunch menu fits on one page, yet offers a large variety including a few vegetarian choices. Most of us went with the house specialty: wood-fired thin-ish crust pizza, in a choice of flavors. For $2 more, you can add soup or salad and tea or coffee to the lunch plate. The soup of the day was Stracciatella. I didn’t order it because I don’t care for eggs — but those that did found it dreadfully salty. Once pointed out, the waitress picked up all the soups and switched them for salads.
We were impressed with the pizza presentation. The individual pizzas were oval and quite sizable, about the size of a naan bread. They were delivered on wooden boards, and tucked into the side was a pair of scissors. Each person had his own pair of scissors — and these were heavy and imposing, not dollar-store kiddie snips. These were used to cut the pizzas into bite-sized pieces. I had never seen this before; it made the experience fun. On the table was a mason jar of spiced olive oil, to drizzle on the pizza.
Overall this was a nice place to go, and the guest of honor (a departing colleague) was impressed. I found it a bit on the expensive side.
Dishes I tried:
The pizza toppings were uneven. There were a few small irregular lumps of ground pork, kissed with fennel. There were 3 or 4 large basil leaves on top, crispy from the oven, and random slices of bocconcini cheese. The crust in the center went soggy under the toppings, and there were a couple of cold spots especially on the edge. The whole was on the bland side — the peppery olive oil helped a little, but I was reluctant to make the pizza wetter than it already was. Miss Long-Pepper-Mill would have been even more helpful, but she never brought back the pepper.
The salad was vibrantly colored, burgundy and dark green, with the lightest of olive oil dressings — so light it was as if there was no dressing at all. Three halves of grape tomato perched on top. I would have liked more dressing with this.