I knew it was going to be crowded, but luckily we were told the wait was only 20 minutes. We found a spot at the crowded bar and ordered local beer. They have quite a selection of local brews. I decided to try to Popcorn Pilsner from Sun King that everyone has been raving about (and I can see why!) as hubs selected another brew. I have to say, I can't remember what it was as I was taking in the environment of the casual, but modern, pizzeria and pub.
Clean decor, friendly staff and great drinks had me anticipating a fantastic meal. We started off by being sat early (yay!) at a table in the back near the open-window kitchen. I slid into the booth while hubs sat in the chair across from me so I could take in all of the restaurant. Flat screen tv's were framed on the wall as were large photos. I especially loved the chalkboard wall where the menu was written. But the highlight? The open window kitchen where you could watch the chef's prepare your food to order.
Our server greeted us with a smile and friendly attitude. As we told her we had never been, she took the time to go through her favorites and explain the menu in detail in the perfect way. As we already had our brews, we decided to order a few appetizers. We started off with the grilled romaine salad and zucchini fritters.
The salad came moments before the fritters giving us time to split it between the two plates. It was a large baby romaine head, lightly grilled with perfect char marks. On top were Indiana baby tomatoes, perfectly plump and ripe for eating. Chunks of fresh mozzarella were abundant and plentiful allowing every bite to have a piece of the semi soft cheese. The dressing, a yogurt based herb dressing, was delightfully light and portioned perfectly. It was one of the best dressed salads I've had in a long time - not overwhelming the natural flavors of the salad but complimenting them.
'Tony's fritters' arrived shortly after the salad, so as we munched on romaine, we were also munching on fritters. I wasn't expecting the more 'pancake like' fritter, but was happy to see it served that way. Finely shredded zucchini was lightly breaded and fried for a crisp outer layer but a smooth inner texture was still present. Drizzled on top was a truffle oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, they were fried a bit too heavy for me, but still the flavors were great.
We ordered another round of beverages just in time for our main dish, the Old Kentucky Rome pizza. After much debate (so many pizza's looked fantastic) we settled upon this white pizza full of flavor. Delicious roasted figs were chopped into bite size pieces and sprinkled over the pizza as Kentucky cured prosciutto was layered over a bed of spicy arugula and taleggio cheese. Taleggio cheese melts well and some could even compare it to a balance between a mild tasting mozzarella with the consistency of melted brie, making it a creamy concoction that worked perfectly with the spicy balance of the prosciutto and arugula. Plus, the sweetness of the figs really gave the pizza a great flavor. I enjoyed just a tad more than the hubs (he wasn't loving the prosciutto)and we both managed to each eat two pieces. A pie could easily serve two people, maybe three if you have appetizers to share. And trust me, that crispy but doughy crust is well worth it. I enjoyed all the elements as they played perfectly well together, but that crust was just delightful. In addition, it was served with a garlic fondue that our server brought out for us to taste - garlic heaven with that crust!
One thing to note, as we were waiting for our pizza, I kept seeing all of these tables receive orders of breadsticks. Hubs and I adore breadsticks, so I asked our server how we could get some. She smiled and said that though it wasn't on the menu, you could definitely order them (4 breadsticks for $5,) so we did. Delivered shortly after the pizza (due to our late ordering,) we received these fantastic breadsticks that were warm, soft and delicious. Two sauces were served with them - a red marinara that was hands down the best marinara I've had in a long time. It was how marinara should be - the fresh taste of the tomatoes shined through with great seasoning. The other was an alfredo type of sauce, but not heavy. I have no idea how you can make a heavy sauce light, but they accomplished this. I couldn't help but sample both at the same time with each bite of the breadsticks. These are a must order!
We had a great meal and even ran into a few Hoosier Beer Geek's (pleasure meeting you Rod & Jess and seeing you again Gina!) who were enjoying meals of their own. I can't wait to get back and try one of the pizza rossa's (red sauce) because if we get that marinara, you know that will be a good pie for sure! This past September, I had the great opportunity to dine at Tom Douglas' restaurant Serious Pie. I have to say I'd pick Pizzology over Serious Pie any day because of multiple reasons: friendly service, comfortable dining, local brews and fantastic food. We have another jewel in Carmel that I can't wait to get back to - cheers!
13190 Hazel Dell
Carmel, IN 46033
t. @NealjBrown (owner)