BEST PIZZA Miami 2004 - Spris
Readers' Choice: Pizza Rustica
Miami's pizza wars continue to heat up, as more and more establishments heat up the wood ovens necessary to produce the fragrantly flavorful charred crusts that characterize authentic Italian pizza. Still the Lincoln Road area continues to be the explosion's epicenter, and its sidewalk tables on the unmatchable people-watching pathway give Spris the edge over worthy contenders such as Piola (around the corner on Alton Road), Tutto on Coral Way, and its own younger sibling Spris in the Gables. Admittedly the square Roman-style pies at Pizza Rustica, which recently opened a Lincoln Road branch, are a hard act to beat. But Spris's pizza crafters from The Source -- Naples -- just seem to get better; these days it usually isn't even necessary, as it once was, to ask for a well-done pie in order to get a thin-crusted beauty with perfect burn bubbles around the perimeter. All manner of exotica is available in terms of toppings (including no-sauce "white pizzas" and no-cheese seafood and vegan versions). But nothing's tastier than the basic Margherita with pungent tomato sauce, fresh basil, and more than just the dabs of mozzarella some terminally trendy places apply with an eyedropper. Substitute buffalo for the cow's milk mozzarella and add a sprinkling of fresh arugula for a truly transcendent treat.