Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pizza Fino claims its slice of Denver Avenue pie

Where is my polarizing filter when I need it? Anyway, I made a trip this past Sunday to Kenton, North Portland's latest up and coming neighborhood, to check out Pizza Fino, the newest addition to what's becoming something of a casual restaurant strip along N. Denver Ave (Cup and Saucer and E-san Thai have outlets on the same block, and word has it that a bakery is soon to open just a couple of blocks away). Pizza Fino was opened a few months back by Linda Zumoff, a co-owner of Bella Faccia Pizza on NE Alberta. While similar in concept to Bella Faccia, Pizza Fino has a more extensive menu which includes salads, sandwiches, calzones and pasta dishes in addition to the dozen pies (six with meat, six without).

Four by-the-slice options were offered, in the very reasonable $2.00-$3.00 range. I ordered one each of the Pepperoni and the "Jesus H. Slice," which consists of pepperoncini, ham and roasted pepperoni. Now I like my pizza with a side of irreverence, but how were the slices, that's the important consideration. As anyone who orders individual slices with any regularity will be aware, pizza sold this way tends to lose its just-out-of-the-oven luster pretty quickly, and this pizza was no exception. That said, the slightly long in the tooth slices were in reasonably good condition, neither rubbery nor greasy. The sauce to cheese ratio was just about right, and the crust was good as well. It was on the thin/crisp side but still had a somewhat chewy texture and held its own against the sauce. And the ham and pepperoncinis were a good combination. This was all washed down with a pint of Laurelwood's Organic Red, although Pizza Fino does feature a full bar with a handful of house cocktails. I also ordered a Caesar salad to go and dispatched it once home. Made with romaine, focaccia croutons and shaved Pecorino, it's a perfectly serviceable Caesar, although it could benefit from a little more garlic and anchovy.

I'm only barely scratching the surface here, of course. I'll have to make a trip back at some point to delve a little deeper into the menu or order a pie for take-out, and when that happens, I'll post an update... But for a quick slice and a pint, Pizza Fino has my recommendation for the next time you find yourself in the neighborhood.

1 comment:

Hungry T said...

Tommy- Thanks for the write up. I live within walking distance of Fino and am there pretty often... Stan the chef trained at the CIA, and makes his own sausage, pancetta, cheese, etc. They are also infusing their own vodkas. A very nice addition to the neighborhood...