Hey, thanks Roberto and Jeff, I was able to hit two spots on the trip.
First was Pizza Brutta in Madison. I liked this place walking in, thought they had a really good vibe going with the layout and decor. I really liked the framed logo poster art on the walls and the collegey/underground feel. Brutta appears to have a Woodstone oven, but I can't be certain about that (sure looked like one, though) They make a big deal on their menu about being Authentic Neapolitan Pizza with all Italian names etc...I waited about 8-10 minutes for my pie (8:00 Saturday night, although it was not to capacity), ordered a margherita di bufala. My first impression was 'wow, a lot of sauce and not much mozzarella di bufala' (I was talking to myself for most of the trip). Second impression was that the crust, which had a lot of rich browning, did not have any spotty leoparding or char blisters. The dough was too thick in the middle for what I would consider Authentic Neapolitan Pizza and without the previous stated characteristics, the crust left much to be desired, in my opinion. The tomatoes were a little too acidic for me (which is saying a lot, normally for me the tarter the better, with fresh tomatoes anyway) and there was too much of it. Too little cheese to really taste the Bufala coming through, which, why in the hell order margherita di bufala if youre not going to be able to taste the upgrade? Overall, I would have to agree with what Jeff V posted about Brutta: it was ok.
Second place I hit, at the suggestion of Roberto, was Cafe Four in Mineral Point. This is a little tourist town about halfway between Madison and Dubuque (roughly). Cafe Four is a hotel restaurant (I think) that serves more than just pizza. I showed up a little after regular lunch hours and was sat right next to the oven, which is a Valoriani (Mugnaini). I talked a lot to the kid working the oven and he told me to come back behind the line and check stuff out. Cheese was from Grande, the flour is Caputo and I didn't ask about tomatoes, whic were better than Brutta. The dough balls were small and underproofed but apparently handled alright as my finished pie was decent size. Only thing is it didn't have much of a edge (whats the right term for this, in Italiano??) The crust had the familiar Caputo light, crispness, but due to being a little green, was not as airy as it should have been (and no real oven spring to speak of). Still, it had a nice flavor. I had the Salsiccia with what the menu said was homemade sausage, although the cook I asked was unsure about that. They also make a big deal not only about being Authentic Neapolitan Pizza, but also about using local, organic ingredients. I wanted to ask about this too, like how much of my pizza was local, but decided to give the kid a break, as he was very earnest and nice. I did talk to another of the cooks from the back who was getting ready to make some dough and he said it is yeast-leavened and rises about an hour (although I'm not sure I believe this, they seemed a little unsure of their answers at times). Again, this pie didn't have any charred bits or fermenty spots either, and after watching him cook the pizza, it was obvious to me the oven was way too cool. Took about four minutes or a little longer to come out. All in all, I thought it too was ok, and could have been better with a little more attention to detail.
Honestly, while these two places were ok, I think Punch pizza in Twin Cities has them beat cold. I ate Punch about 50 times when I lived there and it was always great, and even when not at the top of their game, it is still really good.
So thanks guys, for the recommendations, I had fun trying them out...
All told, I would willingly try both places again.