Author Topic: Rooftop Pizzeria - Santa Fe, NM  (Read 1279 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Rooftop Pizzeria - Santa Fe, NM
« on: February 23, 2007, 03:39:20 PM »
I've pretty much given up on finding decent pizza of any type in Santa Fe. But a friend said the fairly new Rooftop Pizzeria on the Plaza had some really good pies. So today we finally made it over there for lunch. As you can see from the menu, the style here would be more of the "California" gourmet style with fancy toppings.  They offer an "artisan" crust and also a "blue corn" crust which may be very good, but I didn't have any interest in trying it.

We ordered two 12" pies:

1. Smoked Duck, Green Pepper Corns, Spinach, Basil, Roast Garlic Spread, and Four Cheeses on Artisan Crust
2. Wild and Domestic Mushrooms, Alfredo Sauce, Roast Garlic, Truffle Oil and Four Cheeses on Artisan Crust

The toppings were OK, especially the mushrooms with the Alfredo sauce. But the artisan crust was nothing special. Very thin, little rim, crispy, little flavor, if any. Our pies took exactly 8 minutes to cook.

This seems to be pretty popular place, but not something I would go back for. The decor was very warm and inviting and the service was very friendly and efficient.

Bill/SFNM


Offline pftaylor

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Re: Rooftop Pizzeria - Santa Fe, NM
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2007, 08:51:06 AM »
Bill/SFNM,
Nice honest review.

Your sentiments echo mine and other members' pizzeria restaurant observations - I'm sure of it. The sum of your experience now dictates that you are a jaded pizza man. Which is not to say you are a pizza snob by any stretch of the imagination. With the results you are able to achieve at home, I sense it will be increasingly difficult to find a pizza restaurant anywhere which can measure up to your Jedi-like understanding of pizza (excluding Phoenix, Mount Lebanon, & Naples).

For me, the first thing I look for in a new pizzeria is the type of heat the establishment bakes at. I will go on record as stating that I have NEVER had a great pie baked at 650 degrees or less regardless of the oven type - wood, coal, gas, or electric. So if high heat is the first thing I look for what is the second?

Purity and execution of concept. Plain and simple. I look for how pizza is positioned on the menu. Is it the star? Or is it just another entree? Perhaps that is why I have such a hard time with all these places like Mozza. which is really a disgrace pizza wise but a smashing hit with its wine and overall execution of concept. As with most other things in life there are exceptions - UPN comes to mind. He has high heat (though the night I dined there the oven was not anywhere near its optimal operating temperature which is yet another reason to be pizza grumpy)and purity of concept but he lacks the third dimension of what I look for.

Before moving on to my third point I want to pass on a comment by Jonathan Goldsmith of Spacca Napoli which is a restaurant you originally referred me to. I commented to Jonathan during one of my visits about the broad selection of entrees he offers and he quickly countered by stating that people come to his restaurant for the pizza. He made it abundantly clear that he runs a pizzeria making Neapolitan pizza and everything else on the menu feeds off of it. The plated pie backed up his position nicely.

The third and final dimension I look for is so obvious it hardly needs to be uttered. Quite simply, I look for whether or not I like the pizza. I can overlook a number of technical faults if the pizza tastes good. But if the pizza tastes bad, heaven help the pizzeria owner because I will not hold back from writing in detail why the pie stinks - in my opinion. I'm now able to detect flaws ranging from very minor to the obvious and I normally benchmark their efforts against my own as a way of self improving and learning. Occasionally I encounter another kindred soul, like Chris Bianco, who takes pizza as seriously as I do and executes the big deliverables I've outlined here.   
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Rooftop Pizzeria - Santa Fe, NM
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 09:29:47 AM »
pftaylor,

I really enjoyed your comments and agree with all you say. The whole subject of professional restaurant food vs. home cooking by a dedicated enthusiast is one that has always been of interest to me. With few exceptions in this country, (e.g. Chris Bianco), the truly talented chefs are not going to dedicate their lives to pizza. That is one reason why we home enthusiasts are able to best the pros once we get on the right path.

The chef at my favorite local restaurant is a world-class genius, a kitchen goddess, and is able to create meals of such quality and perfection that never in a million years of trying could I come close to what she does in my home kitchen. But she has no interest in making pizza. If she turned her magical powers to pizza, who knows what masterpieces would come out of her oven. That you and I can make better pizzas than Batali/Silverton is hard to comprehend.

Best,
Bill/SFNM