By David Minsky
By Jen Mangham
By Bill Wisser
By Laine Doss
By Bill Wisser
By Dana De Greff
By Laine Doss
By Zachary Fagenson
Not that Tutto's toppings are anything to sneeze at. Ingredients are fresh and adhere to the crust well so there's no embarrassing topping slippage -- meaning that thing that always happens on first dates where you aim your slice down toward your mouth and all the cheese instantly slides off the tomato sauce onto your chest. Additionally there's no oil residue, though there's oil on the table for those who enjoy overindulging.
There were two universal favorites on several visits with friends. A Caprese ($10.95) was simple but perfect: just mozzarella, but milky-rich, slightly tangy buffalo mozzarella; lots of fresh basil; and fresh tomatoes. There was no tomato sauce, which often means no flavor since even allegedly "vine-ripened" tomatoes are seldom really ripe -- but these were. An Al Prosciutto pizza was also outstanding, despite regular old cows' milk mozzarella, due to tomato sauce with some kick and enough fresh arugula on top to make up a side salad. A sprinkling of the good green olive oil on the table made this pizza perfect.
A $10.95 Popeye (spinach, tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and goat cheese) was rather overworked. One of the tomato substances would have sufficed, where two was too much, and the goat cheese overwhelmed the mozzarella. The Popeye would've fared better with milder cream cheeselike catupiry, whose presence on a Sette Nani considerably helped out some very dried-out chicken topping on that $13.95 pizza; other ingredients, including corn and palmito as well as tomato sauce and mozzarella, made for a busy but filling full-meal pie. A classic tomato sauce/mozzarella/basil Margarita ($7.95) was also good, but, since successful simplicity requires perfection, would have been better with buffalo mozzarella; also, puzzlingly, basil was very sparse and confined to just a sort of small bull's eye in the pie's center.
To finish, there was a tartuffo that was okay, plus several fruit sorbets and mousses; the guava mousse ($4.50) that was a special on two recent visits was rich but tart enough to balance the dessert's pronounced sweetness. But why not have a truly balanced -- in other words 100 percent pizza -- meal, and go for the chocolate pizza? The nut-dusted Nutella-like topping will be too sweet for both those without serious dental insurance and serious chocolate gourmets; though not an extreme dark chocolate person, I admit to having hoped for something more like a melted 58.5 percent cacao Venezuelan Bucare bar to match Tutto's outstanding crust. But those willing to lighten up a bit on their chocolate purism will find the concept great fun -- and the price smile-producing, too, since one $5 pie will easily satisfy four sweet-toothed mouths.