On the first day of National Pizza Month, Jon & I made plans to have a casual romantic meal at a nearby pizzeria. Pizza Rustica is located at the Sheridan Red line stop, just north of Wrigley Field. This small BYOB restaurant with the grill, pizza oven, and tables all in plain view, was packed full.
We put our name down and waited approximately fifteen minutes to be seated at a table. Space was cramped and we were seated at the doorway, but the energy in the restaurant was vibrant, and we made the best of our location.
While we were waiting, we noticed the pile of pre-made pizza crusts stacked at the prep table. It turns out that, due to the high volume of people ordering pizzas-to-go and stopping in during Cubs season, an efficient way to turn out the same pizza was by pre-baking the crust. Therefore, when a customer places their order, it takes less time to cook!
At first look, I was reminded of some of the pizza served at bakeries in Italy. Yes, there are many types of pizza made in Italy, and this was one of the few. Pizza al taglio (Pizza by the slice) is baked in rectangular trays and is thicker than Neapolitan pizza.
We started with the Caprese salad and were pleased with the pesto-infused sauce. I loved the sea salt taste paired with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. For a very simple dish, I felt it was top notch.
Then our pizza arrived. We ordered a small pizza with Pepperoni, Garlic, and red onion, and it was served on a wooden pizza peel and our ‘plates’ were mini pizza peels as well. Very clever. The pizza was cut into small squares and there was one piece of pepperoni per slice. The butter crust was appx ¼ of an inch thick… relatively thin for a rustic pizza. It still tasted bread-like and the cheese was well-charred.
This was a great pizzeria and relatively affordable. I think they are relocating to a larger space across the street, so I assume they will have more generous seating accommodations. The casual atmosphere and rustic pizza style will appeal to many Cubs fans, and it’s worth a five minute walk north of Wrigley before or after the game!