“When the moon hit’s your eye, like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”
Ok, so now with that out of my system, this review is for the restaurant Pi, a pizza restaurant in St. Louis with a love for the number 3.141592…(fill in the rest of the numbers here). I went on a Saturday night around 5:30 pm, and already the wait was a good twenty minutes, with the hostess prepping other groups for the dinner rush that was about to swarm. After the twenty minutes of awkward standing in the middle of a room, the clicker vibrated and the evening commenced. My three dinner guests and I were seated in the middle of one of the two dining rooms. Our extremely perky waitress brought us our drinks, one of which was a mango iced tea that was quite refreshing and flavorful without being sweet.
Pros of the meal: the garlic bread and the salad. The garlic bread was an experience that still makes me melt into a garlic heaven on a sea of butter. See, most places bring you the bread with the garlic and cheese melted onto it already, but not Pi. They bring a platter out that has half a loaf of warm, yeasty French bread, with a small tureen of butter. On the other side of the bread is a head of garlic that has been roasted for a long time, which gives each of the cloves a sliky smooth quality. This makes it a joy to spread on the piece of bread. Whenever I eat, I use my hands a lot, which makes meals a very tactile experience for me–so the ability to make my own piece of garlic bread was joyful for me.
My mom always says I have the diet of a rabbit, and the eating capacity of a horse, which means that salads and I go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, Burt and Ernie. The salad I ordered was the “k squared,” which had a field greens base, shredded raw beets, goat cheese and pine nuts, surrounded by slices of Clementine, dressed with a lemon poppy seed vinaigrette. All of the ingredients combined to taste so “earthy” that you could see the plants growing on some organic farm. Beets already have a delicious “dirt” flavor to them, and with the tang of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the dressing, it tasted like a garden on a plate. Usually I am anti-fruit in my salad, but the Clementine slices provided a unique texture that complimented the other components of the salad and really contributed to the harmony of the dish.
Cons of the meal: the pizza itself. I have a theory that each person’s opinion of the “perfect” pizza is quite unique, and I can’t decide whether or not this is just one of those situations where it just wasn’t my “perfect pizza.” I split the deep-dish create your own Pi, and the toppings we chose were onions, roasted red bell peppers, fresh basil, goat cheese and roasted garlic. The deep-dish crust was cornmeal based, which gave it a unique texture and nutty flavor. However, no amount of creative baking can hide the lack of a very basic ingredient: salt. When a bread product, or any baked good for that matter, is lacking in salt, the item just becomes flat. Inside of the deep crust, the toppings were thrown in with a very smooth mozzarella cheese and baked in a pizza oven. Now for the part that confused me: the sauce. Personally, I am not a big sauce person when it comes to pizza, and a little goes a long way in my book. It felt like once the pizza was all bubbly and baked, the cook proceeded to dump a ladle full of the pizza sauce, which felt more like spaghetti sauce, onto the pizza before sending it. It was like there were two different components: the pizza itself and the sauce. Sadly, they didn’t “work.” When the crust was lacking and the sauce was confusing, it’s hard to say that it was a good pie. I give them points for using organic and local ingredients, and props for originality, but if I ever went back I’d stick with the salad.
Pi Pizzeria has four different locations, all in the St. Louis area, and are open for lunch and dinner every day. For those of you who don’t rock the dairy, their pizza can be substituted with non-dairy cheese, making the pies vegan approved! The prices aren’t cheap, so be prepared to either empty your wallet or find a generous dinner buddy.