Author Topic: Pizzeria Bianco Review  (Read 3878 times)

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Offline A-Neibs

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Pizzeria Bianco Review
« on: July 08, 2011, 08:38:36 PM »
I had the pleasure of eating Pizzeria Bianco the other day. When I first got into pizza making almost a year ago, my uncle mentioned Chris Bianco to me. He had eaten his pizza years ago before he had the place he has now, and told me that it was really good and famous pizza. Trusting him, I started to read interviews with him and such, trying to glean insight that would help me in my pizza quest. I have now eaten there twice, amazed both times by how good that pizza is. For those of you that don't know, Pizzeria Bianco is now open at lunchtime. This just changed a few months ago. The first time I ate there, we had to do the whole get there an hour early and wait in-line thing. This time, I showed up at 11:10 am, 10 minutes after it opened, and was seated immediately. That was a pleasant surpise. For those of you that might travel to Phoenix for various reasons, it is now easier to get in and get some pizza. Chris was actually on the news here a little while bit back talking about opening for lunch. He was in his chef gear and told the reporter that he was excited because he was actually going to be in there making pizza that day. So I went with the hope that he would be working, but he wasn't there. It's nice to know that he at least got back in the kitchen. With regards to the Pizza, It's as good as people say. I find it funny when people say that it's not good pizza. It's one thing to think that it might not be worth the wait, but I can't see how a person could try that pizza and say it's not good. The crust is outstanding. Soft, Crispy, and incredibly thin and light. Best crust I've ever had. I don't think there is much to the sauce. I couldn't detect much in terms of spices. But it's clear he uses high quality tomatoes. The cheese is creamy and delicious. His toppings are great as well. We had the sonny boy with salami and gaeta olives, and the margherita. His basil is very fresh, like it was just picked. The quality of the salami was great. Overall, it's a wonderful place to eat. The atmosphere that Chris has created there is just as good as the pizza. Everything about it is as good as advertised for me, and that's impressive based off all the things that people say about his pizza. I'm excited that it's easier to get in now. I'm about 30 minutes away from the restaurant, but this change means I will be going more often. Based off his pizza, I have 2 questions for the other members of the forum.

1. How do get your crust to be so light and fluffy?
My friend used the word fluffy and I thought that described it perfectly. In the last year, my crust has gotten significantly better. It's soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, and I've gotten it thinner, which I like. But I've never made a pizza that light. That's something I want to work towards. How much of that is based on the brick oven?

2. Both times I've gone, everyone I've gone with has commented on the fact that the pizza is not greasy at all. Even the salami one was not greasy. I've used a high quality salami very similar to his, and still ended up with a semi-greasy pizza. Not overly so, but more so than his. This is also something I want to work on. Anyone have any ideas for what he might do?

Thanks for any input. If you're ever in Phoenix, make time for this place.


Offline Steve

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 01:47:58 PM »
I'm headed to Phoenix in April. Can't wait to try Bianco!
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Online pizzaboyfan

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 02:58:37 PM »
The only  problem with Bianco's seems to be the inevitable lines waiting for admission.
They do take reservations for a party of six or more .
Now,  if it were me, traveling all the to Phoenix, with my wife,  I'd be making a reservation for 6 and I would think finding 4 other folks, in line, willing to share a table , to be as easy as well.....pie.

Perry
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 05:55:19 PM by pizzaboyfan »

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 03:35:06 PM »
The only  problem with Bianco's seems to be the enevitable lines waiting for admission.
They do take reservations for a party of six or more .
Now,  if it were me, traveling all the to Phoenix, with my wife,  I'd be making a reservation for 6 and I would think finding 4 other folks, in line, willing to share a table , to be as easy as well.....pie.

Perry

I think they started opening earlier now because of that reason, I think they open at 12pm now.

EDIT: 11am. http://pizzeriabianco.com/index2.html

Offline A-Neibs

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 03:53:14 PM »
Yeah they open at 11am now. I mentioned that in the review. Since they started doing that, I have been twice. One time I arrived at 11:10am and one time I arrived at 4:30pm. Both times we were let right in and seated immediately. The wait isn't a problem anymore.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 07:48:40 PM »
Per your questions in your post, the "fluffy" dough comes from a combination of things. But I would say the main thing you probably can't do at home is cook in the 900-1000F degree range with wood. Also when you cook at this temperature this gives you the option of use caputo flour to its fullest potential. Also you said you didn't taste many spices in the pizza sauce, that's because traditionally it is just San Marzano DOP tomatoes and salt. Nothing else.

I am moving to the phoenix area augustish and can't wait to go there.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 08:37:55 PM »
JN, Bianco doesn't bake at 900-1000F.   His pies are right around the 3 min range.  That would put the temps at around 725F - 750F.   They do keep a roaring fire in the oven but bake quite far from it closer to the walls.  He also does not use caputo flour.   When I last spoke with him, he was using mostly a bread flour with "a bit of HG flour", and Cake yeast.   I'm pretty sure it was Guisto's, but he also said that they were looking at different millers at that time.

His crust can likely be made in the home oven if the home oven has a broiler.  By positioning the stone closer to the broiler and loading the pizza at 650-700F hearth temp and with the broiler running, you have a good chance of getting a 3-4min bake.  Closer to 3 is better.  You can get this type of fluffy crust by using a high hydration dough and a quality BF, maybe something like Guisto's or from Central Milling.  I also did not taste spices in his sauce when I went there last year.  

Bianco's pizza is not neapolitan.  It is a hybrid type pie, between NP and NY but closer to NP b/c of the WFO, fresh ingredients, and relatively fast bake.  A traditional NP pie would have a bake time closer to 60-90 seconds or so.  

Jefferey, I think you will enjoy Bianco's pizza.  
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 02:50:43 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline SquirrelFlight

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 04:38:22 PM »
I am moving to the phoenix area augustish and can't wait to go there.

I see you're making the same mistake I did when moving here.  Are you moving yourself, or paying someone else to do it?  If the former, make sure you have lots of water on hand....

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 04:51:48 PM »
I see you're making the same mistake I did when moving here.  Are you moving yourself, or paying someone else to do it?  If the former, make sure you have lots of water on hand....

Haha sadly I will be moving myself in. I know it's stupid, but I have work lined up there. I lived in florida for a couple years so I know about sweating.

And Chau, ya Biancos does some interesting stuff. If I remember correctly he even grows his arugula out back too doesn't he? He likes to have his stuff sourced closer to home then traditional.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 04:54:59 PM »
Yes, he grows most of it except the tomatoes.  I think those are from local growers.  He smokes his own mozz as well, I believe. 


Offline weemis

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 04:56:59 PM »
Not suggesting that Bianco does this, but I believe I read in Peter Reinhart's book, "American Pie", he suggested boiling pepperoni for a few minutes to lessen the grease on the finished pie. You might wanna try that and see if it is what you're looking for.

I had Bianco this past December on a pizza road trip and was not at all as impressed as the masses seem to be. It wasn't at all bad, but the hype built up around said establishment was not lived up to.

Meh.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2012, 05:21:59 PM »
Not suggesting that Bianco does this, but I believe I read in Peter Reinhart's book, "American Pie", he suggested boiling pepperoni for a few minutes to lessen the grease on the finished pie. You might wanna try that and see if it is what you're looking for.

I had Bianco this past December on a pizza road trip and was not at all as impressed as the masses seem to be. It wasn't at all bad, but the hype built up around said establishment was not lived up to.

Meh.

Weemis, do you remember specifically what it was that you didn't like, or was it overall not that good or not as good as you had anticipated?  Also keep in mind the masses are comparing his pizza to places like pizza hut or dominos.  They are not nearly as critical about what is better or why it is better.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 05:27:59 PM »
I believe I read in Peter Reinhart's book, "American Pie", he suggested boiling pepperoni for a few minutes to lessen the grease on the finished pie.

 :o  :'(  :(


Pizza is not bread.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 05:38:15 PM »
:o  :'(  :(

I'm afraid it is true. On page 166 he says:

Quote
I recommend sauteing or even boiling [pepperoni] in advance to release some of the fat...

Kind of like parboiling ribs - a hanging offense in my family.

Offline SquirrelFlight

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 06:11:38 PM »
Weemis, do you remember specifically what it was that you didn't like, or was it overall not that good or not as good as you had anticipated?  Also keep in mind the masses are comparing his pizza to places like pizza hut or dominos.  They are not nearly as critical about what is better or why it is better.

I can't speak for Weemis, but my wife and I stopped by Bianco last year (about this time of year, in fact). 

We happened to be walking by just as the line was starting to form and decided to give it a try.  This was before he expanded his business hours, so we waited for almost 3 hours in warm, muggy (muggy by AZ standards) weather before we got in.  After all that waiting what we got was.... pizza.  Good pizza, sure, but not worth waiting three hours for.  Especially when there are several places with pizza nearly as good (if not just as good), that you can get right in to eat. 

We haven't been back yet, but with the expanded hours, we're pondering another visit.  We almost did a couple weeks back, but opted for the pub across the way instead.

Quote from: jeffereynelson
Haha sadly I will be moving myself in. I know it's stupid, but I have work lined up there. I lived in florida for a couple years so I know about sweating.
Just don't fall for the "but it's a dry heat" BS.  Once it hits about 115, it ceases to matter anymore. :D
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 06:22:17 PM by SquirrelFlight »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2012, 10:34:18 PM »
Just don't fall for the "but it's a dry heat" BS.  Once it hits about 115, it ceases to matter anymore. :D

Come to Houston when it is 99F/99% humidity and tell me that when you're trying to get out of the heat in the shade...   :-D
Pizza is not bread.

Offline weemis

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2012, 09:46:34 AM »
Weemis, do you remember specifically what it was that you didn't like, or was it overall not that good or not as good as you had anticipated?  Also keep in mind the masses are comparing his pizza to places like pizza hut or dominos.  They are not nearly as critical about what is better or why it is better.

From what I see, the people who talk so highly of Bianco are usually not your domino's or pizza hutters, they're people looking for a delicious artisan pie. I got a pizza with onions and some kind of sausage, and the flavor combination was good, but definitely nothing to write home about. Bianco somehow just hit the hype button and went into overdrive in the popularity field, and I'm the kind of guy who goes the opposite way as the crowd whenever possible. I must admit that well after eating there, the char flavor from the dough mixed with the roasted onion flavor rang well in my mouth. that was cool. but i agree with squirrel that it's not worth the wait. and it was $16!

later in that same pizza road trip, I had Marco's Coal Fired Pizza (though it wasn't coal fired... ?) in denver, and the flavor combination was exquisite! I had the Del Re. Truffle and Porcini Mushroom Pecorino Sardo Spread, Fresh Mozzarella, Topped with Mushrooms, Proscuitto di Parma, Fresh Basil... AMAZING!

You can do all you want with localization and freshness and dough, and that sets the table for an amazing pizza. but flavor combination pushes it over the top. The pizza I had from Bianco was not over the top.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012, 11:56:58 AM »
Weemis, nice post and I can definitely see where you are coming from.   One of the pies we ordered was the house sausage and onions as well.   I agree, while I thought it was good, I was not blown away.  I agree with you about topping combinations.  You can have the freshest ingredients but some combinations just seem to really work.  Chris makes an amazingly light crust with a great texture. 

I wonder though about myself and others here, just how picky are we getting about pizza.   If the pie is 80% there, it's a winner for me.  The other 20% might just be personal preference.

I'd love to try Marco's sometime. Next time I'm there I look for it.

Offline weemis

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2012, 12:35:30 PM »
I wonder though about myself and others here, just how picky are we getting about pizza.   If the pie is 80% there, it's a winner for me.  The other 20% might just be personal preference.

Yeah, you're probably right, Tran. I'll eat any pie, really. But if the hype is there, I expect to be blown away. Expectation is the only path to disappointment.  ;D
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline randyjohnsonhve

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Re: Pizzeria Bianco Review
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2012, 12:52:19 PM »

Chris does a wonderful job with his pizzas...He is a humble person who gives his best effort everyday...I am glad to hear about the extended hours, as I waited 3 1/2 hours to be seated, but it was worth the wait...Sort of like going to Yankee Stadium, you have to appreciate the history, even if you are not a Yankee Fan...Chris is undoubtedly one of the best pizzaiolas in the US, and what a pleasure to say that I have eaten there and had the fortune to speak with him on the phone...I like the viewpoint of, if it is 80% there, I am OK with that, the other 20% is personal preference...Remember, Chris makes his own mozz, has his personally designed flour from Giusto, understands the changing dough process to obtain the best crust in his daily environment, packages his designed tomatoes from California (visits the fields), supports his purveyors in Arizona, and when necessary, goes to the national supplier who produces the best product to put on his pizza...He is also very much a part of his WFO (like a brother) and understands it completely...It doesn't get much better than that...Do not miss the opportunity to experience Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix... 

RJelli  :chef:
"Pizza Evolves...Our Best Pizza Ever is Not Today." It is 'what' is right, not 'who' is right that matters.


 

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