Author Topic: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA  (Read 21562 times)

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Offline ilpizzaiolo

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2007, 11:25:55 AM »
I'll let you guys figure out the pizza, but here is some information not subject to opinion, knowledge or experience.

Regarding the 8 oz. coca-cola it is listed on the menu for $ 2.00. The price including tax is $ 2.14.

The reason why we serve the  8 oz bottle instead of fountain products is that it is superior. The same attention to quality and detail that has been applied to every single ingredient and product in the restaurant has been given to the quality of coca-cola and other bottled beverages as well. I make less money off of an 8 oz. coke (my cost .55 cents) than my competitors do selling fountain products at the same price with free refills. Fountain products are also inconsistant, generally taste bad, and the lines that are used to pump it are usually ridden with bacteria, possibly contributing to the bad taste. So the 8 oz. coca-cola bottle is actually a value at $ 2.00 + tax.

Secondly, my pizza maker probably did use to much bench flour which imparted the slight bitterness you speak of. That is something i need to deal with, and is a challenge with higher hydration doughs using caputo flour. however, if you are local, i think it would be a mistake to let that be your only experience at il pizzaiolo as we are 99% accurate. I belive this so much, that i am willing to pay for your next experience, and order for you to give a true neapolitan experience and highlight what we do best.

ciao

 - ron


Offline David

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2007, 12:24:47 PM »
Hope I'm not distracting from this thread,just an observation and something I've given some thought to.Over the years of watching different pizza makers and their techniques it seems divided into a few different methods of getting the pizza to the peel to the oven.
Maybe because he's from New York Chris Bianco it appears uses the technique of utilizing a separate wooden peel for each skin and dresses the skin on the peel.Neapolitans dress the skin on the marble and drag the pizza onto the (usually) wooden peel,even when working solo .If my memory serves me right, some years ago I saw the guy from UPN also dress the skin on a wood peel.In Rome and throughout the North it seemed common practice to dress the skin on the bench and lift the pizza off the bench with a metal peel - a learned skill indeed,and I think impossible with heavy laden American Pizza and difficult with highly hydrated doughs.Any thoughts on this?
BTW regarding the whole bottled soda  thing ,I personally believe it's not unlike Neapolitan Pizza - If I need to explain then you  really wouldn't understand.
Mines a Big Gulp please.

Off topic,but as I'm having a rant....
I was having dinner last Tuesday evening at the Sheraton LAX and for dessert a companion ordered a Creme Brulee for himself.It arrived in a 10" ceramic fluted Quiche dish and the espresso was served with regular tea spoons.Was I jet lagged or my Pinot spiked with some hallucinogenic?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2007, 09:33:43 PM by David »
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Offline sumeri

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2007, 08:05:39 PM »
Not sure how Ron does it, but we tend to save our best pizzaioli for the busiest times.  Meaning at 2:30 you probably are not having your pizza made be the most experienced pizza maker no matter where you go.  Also if an oven has been used heavy at lunch then it is not used for a while, the floor builds up a tremendous amount of heat which makes the yellow/orange bottom very hard to avoid with even a minimal amount of bench flour.
As pointed out by a previous poster it has been reported several times at Da Michele so you can be assured that it happens almost everywhere.  Now that you know what you are looking for (burnt orange or yellow look to the bottom of the pizza and a very bitter taste) I'm sure most pizzerias worth their salt would gladly make you a new one if you have the problem again.

Offline sanchez

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2007, 08:24:21 AM »
Interesting comments indeed.  Sounds to me like the off taste was indeed due to too much bench flour.  Thanks everyone for clarifying that.  I guess I could try the test you stated Pete but I'd hate to waste a good dough ball.  :)  Maybe if I decide to try Il Pizzaiolo again I'll go during prime hours when their oven is getting more use.  I probably should have brought it to their attention but I generally don't do that unless the product is exceptionally bad.  And this product wasn't bad, it just wasn't as great as I was expecting it to be. 

As for the Coke, I know you want to serve bottled drinks for the reasons you stated.  Ever thought about serving the larger bottles of Coke instead of those tiny little bottles?  Distributors always seem to charge more for those smaller specialty bottles so it's possible that you could be getting larger bottles for a similar price.  Something you might look in to.

Offline ilpizzaiolo

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2007, 10:31:13 AM »
i agree, i would love to have the larger bottles (not just for value, but also they are very cool). Unfortunately I am at the mercy of the local distributer and they only carry the coke in the 8oz. Unlike other north eastern states, we can't even get diet coke and sprite in the 8 oz. I do not know if the larger bottles are available in the south. I do know that a different regional distributer other than my own is not allowed to sell to me and the freight cost would also be prohibitive, and be considered   "black market" as the corporate crooks at coca-cola would call it. Also, the stuff from mexico is great, but once it gets here from mexico, my cost would be $2.00, which means my customer could buy 3 of the small ones (24 oz.) for the same price as one 16 oz. I don't think there is any other solution. Coke actually makes if difficult for their customers to experience their product at a higher level of quality in america, including the use of corn syrup instead or cane sugar which is still used in most other parts of the world. coca-cola usa. is driven purely by profits and nothing else.

- ron

Offline Flagpull

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2007, 12:48:11 PM »
Man, it's only a 3 hour drive to you. I need to get out there soon.

Offline David

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2007, 04:25:15 PM »
Some interesting reading on the Coke topic here:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/March/19/local/stories/01local.htm

Seemingly Costco in Ca. is selling it.
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Offline pcampbell

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #47 on: May 29, 2007, 06:02:57 PM »
Apparently they had sugar based coke for the Jewish holidays around here.  Gave up on coke myself.

However, I would completely agree, glass bottled coke is tastably better than canned, fountain and plastic bottled (in that order). 
Patrick

Offline robert40

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2008, 10:44:10 AM »
Had a wonderful dinner here last night. Will give full details when I return home.

scottr, Thanks so much for the suggestion!

Offline ratana

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2008, 01:35:21 PM »
i agree, i would love to have the larger bottles (not just for value, but also they are very cool). Unfortunately I am at the mercy of the local distributer and they only carry the coke in the 8oz. Unlike other north eastern states, we can't even get diet coke and sprite in the 8 oz. I do not know if the larger bottles are available in the south. I do know that a different regional distributer other than my own is not allowed to sell to me and the freight cost would also be prohibitive, and be considered   "black market" as the corporate crooks at coca-cola would call it. Also, the stuff from mexico is great, but once it gets here from mexico, my cost would be $2.00, which means my customer could buy 3 of the small ones (24 oz.) for the same price as one 16 oz. I don't think there is any other solution. Coke actually makes if difficult for their customers to experience their product at a higher level of quality in america, including the use of corn syrup instead or cane sugar which is still used in most other parts of the world. coca-cola usa. is driven purely by profits and nothing else.

- ron


Hi Ron I am not sure if you will get this reply, but, Reyna Foods in the strip actually sells cases of Mexican Coke for $30 for 24 16 oz bottles.  It is possible that they would sell wholsesale even cheaper?  It is delicious and perhaps that would be an option?  Not as bad as $2 each.  I really do like it though.  Real sugar, less carbonation, less acidity.


Offline robert40

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #50 on: April 30, 2008, 12:40:56 PM »
I recently tried Il Pizzaiolo and was very impressed.

A little history.  My wife's family is from the Pittsburgh area and we lived there off and on over the past twenty years. In the early 90's after leaving the Inn at Little Washington we tried to make a go for it and moved to the area.
Eventually hoping to open a restaurant. Now don't get me wrong... I'm not knocking Pittsburgh but the truth is, it is not the culinary capital of the world. You can believe I don't cook to get rich but at the time the pay scale was so below average that it was not feasibly possible to support a family. Plus the quality of restaurants at the time could not even balance out the salary loss. We tried again a few years later and again I was not willing to take the gamble opening a restaurant. Just did not seem practical from a business sense.

So after my visit to Il Pizzaiole it was delightful to see someone took the risk and produced a restaurant that no doubt would be successful anywhere in the country. Bravo and well done!

My wife's family may not be the most adventuress diners out there but they even were impressed. Between all of us I believe we sampled a good share of the menu. But need to return to try more of the wonderful pastas.

We started with a nice bottle of Zefiro and received a complementary bowl of baby clams with tomatoes. Excellent broth to dip your bread in. My mother-in-law could not believe her eyes seeing her six year old granddaughter enjoying those clams. :P For apps we had Antipasto Misto 'Very good', Cozze Marinara which were plump mussels in another great bread dipping sauce. Unfortunately my son refused to part with but a few. A salad 'Roma' that I did not taste but heard the tomatoes were great for this time of the year. Caesar salads a few at the table had. Perfectly dressed and passed my wifes caesars salad test.
I then had the Margherita with mozzarella di bufala while the better half ordered the regular margherita. I enjoyed mine more, but hers was also very good. Found it a bit odd that both versions are offered. One daughter had the Tagliatell alla Bolognese. which was better then Babbos bolognese. Six year old daughter had the Gnocchi which was light as clouds. Dad thought for sure I would get more but she polished it off. :'( A few colzones that I did not try. And I believe my son had a pizza called diablo but I may be wrong. I enjoyed the slice he shared but can't recall ingredients.

Service was good but a bit rushed. But it is a busy place and should be expected.

Was it the best pizza I ever had? No, Chris Bianco still holds that title. But that is a personal choice as they are two totally different styles of pizza. But second place for sure and thats a winner in my book.
Can't wait to return and the best reason in over twenty years to visit the mother-in-law. Just joking... I think. :-D

Offline scott r

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2008, 04:16:38 AM »
Nice review!  The thing that blows me away the most, and what you have hit on, is that ron is making pizza that is as good as the absolute best our country has to offer, but he is also providing a massive full scale italian menu where everything is up to that level of quality.  I can't even fathom how this is all possible under one roof. There is a lot of diversity to the menu yet every dish I have there is done so perfectly that it seems like it must be Ron's specialty.  I have also been to a mario batali restaurant (lupa) and found that rons pastas are better! 

Offline robert40

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2008, 12:16:42 PM »
Nice review!  The thing that blows me away the most, and what you have hit on, is that ron is making pizza that is as good as the absolute best our country has to offer, but he is also providing a massive full scale italian menu where everything is up to that level of quality.  I can't even fathom how this is all possible under one roof. There is a lot of diversity to the menu yet every dish I have there is done so perfectly that it seems like it must be Ron's specialty.  I have also been to a mario batali restaurant (lupa) and found that rons pastas are better! 

I agree. Just the task of making consistent quality pizza is a commitment in itself. Never mind adding a wide selection of pastas. The freshness of ingredients really stood out to me. Plus the pride the kitchen took in it's work reflected on the plate. Sometimes a good indication of cooks that are serious about their career is in the simple things done well like the salads. Can't wait to return and thanks again for the rec.

Offline shango

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2008, 08:39:38 PM »
Finally made it out to Il Pizzaiolo.  Amazing pizza!!  A friend and I shared the Margherita DOC, sausage and rapini, and a Provola, (I think that was the name, with fresh tomato, arugula, smokey cheese, (scamorza?) and shaved grana).  It's really the closest I've had to the pizza I ate in Naples, Gino Sorbillo in particular. 

The restaurant and oven are both very aesthetically pleasing, and the wait staff isn't half bad either!

Highly recommended, worth the trip.
pizza, pizza, pizza

Offline jorapel*

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2009, 05:15:11 AM »
Well finally getting a chance to get out there this coming weekend. Can anybody give me a heads up for any wait times there might be at Il Pizzaiolo...Family visit from upstate NY and want to be prepared if we have to keep my little ones occupied.

thanks

Offline sanchez

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2009, 06:30:27 AM »
When I was at Il Piz there was hardly anyone else there.  Of course that was during off peak hours which probably explained my subpar pie.  Don't know how crowed it gets during peak dinner hours.

Offline jorapel*

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Re: Il Pizzaiolo, Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) PA
« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2009, 07:51:43 PM »
I imagine anytime before 4:00 it should be ok

thanks


 

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