My review of Craft Pizza: a delicious tomato sauce and artisan pizza at its best

Since becoming pregnant I have been craving pizza all the time. I have found that there is something really magical in the flavor combinations in a pizza. The versatile taste of the tomato sauce, the meaty deliciousness of salami, the freshness of the red onions, bell peppers or basil – I am amazed at how they come together in a pizza to create a meal that is wholesome, generous and authentic in all its simplicity. I used to like pizza – now, it’s more than just liking: it’s a full-fledged love affair. Who would have thought? 🙂

Thankfully, Chicago is home to some of the best pizzas in the world, and living here has given me the chance to try out a variety of pies, coming from both new and well-established pizzerias. Such was the case recently, when myself and other Chicago Food Bloggers were invited to attend the preview party held by Craft Pizza, a new pizzeria located in the Wicker Park neighborhood. 

Craft Pizza is the product of several years of research undertaken by pizza aficionado Scott Toth. Scott (in white, red and blue shirt in the pic below) is well-known on the Chicago pizza scene. Four years after opening Pizzeria Serio in the Lakeview neighborhood, he decided to take his East Coast style pizzas to the next level – and Craft Pizza was born. In addition to artisan pizza, Craft Pizza also has salads and antipasti on their lunch&dinner menu and a breakfast menu which features boil and bake bagels, pastries and fresh coffee from Sparrow, a local craft roaster.

Scott did not hold back when it came to offering Chicago bloggers a wide variety of pizza samples from the menu of the new pizzeria. I enjoyed all of them, but the margherita was my favourite by far. I have always thought that  there is a lot to be said about a classic such as margherita. There are not many ingredients in this pie to begin with, and there’s hardly any room for tricks or artificial gimmicks. Only a few ingredients, if carefully selected and of high quality, can truly speak volumes about the craft of the pizza maker. From this perspective, the margherita I ate at Craft Pizza was nothing short of a revelation: the crust was delicious and had the perfect amount of crunch, and the blend of fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano and grana padano was wholesome and unbelievably light. The tomato sauce (made with fresh tomatoes from Italy) was the star ingredient, which brought the other ingredients together – all under the refreshing blessing of the basil leaves. What a pizza that was!

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Like I said above, I tried many other pizza varieties during the time I spent at the Craft Pizza preview party, and they were all excellent. From the devil in the white city, bursting with hot capicollo, hot cherry peppers and peperoncinis…

…to the white truffle pie, generously sprinkled with a blend of Italian cheeses and truffle oil…

…to bacon bianca, made with Craft Pizza’s own cured bacon and a delightful mix of fresh garlic, herbs and black pepper…

…and the wicker pork pie, with smoked Canadian bacon, onions and pineapple drowned in one of my favorite tomato sauces ever…

…all the pizzas I sampled were delicious. I loved the crusts – perfectly risen without being overwhelming. I loved the ingredients – fresh, carefully chosen, and blended perfectly. Last but not least, I liked the welcoming atmosphere inside the pizzeria – the place is neither too big nor too small, and perfect to just take a break and grab a bite. I cannot wait to go back to Craft Pizza and to try out more of their creations. The place is BYOB, which is a great bonus 🙂 

*Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated by Craft Pizza for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.


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