Some people are just different from everyone else. They exercise their genius in whatever medium speaks to them most and inspire the rest of us to be better than we think we can be. These four Utah Valley artists work in the medium of sauce and cheese to tease our taste buds and satisfy our stomachs.
Nicolitalia Pizzeria – Their slightly spicy sauce creates a unique taste, and coupled with the distinctive dough recipe, makes for a somewhat floppy, fresh-tasting pizza. With a new location opening in Draper, things are looking up for these artisans of the oven.
Most Popular Pizza: The Nicolitalia Special
Pizzeria 712: A fresh, thin-crusted delight, Pizzeria 712 specializes in serving up a gourmet pizza that’s as tasty as it is sustainable. Although primarily a classy, sit-down joint, Pizzeria 712 offers something for everyone.
Most Popular Pizza: The Margherita
Brick Oven Restaurant: A Utah institution, Brick Oven has been in business since 1956. With five locations all over Utah, their outstanding pizza is always within reach.
Most Popular Pizza: BBQ Chicken Pineapple
SLAB Pizza: In contrast to the other pizza purveyors on this list, SLAB and their behemoth 20-inch pizza is the newest of newcomers on Utah Valley’s pizzeria scene.
Most Popular Pizza: The Buffalo Wing Slab
You’ve met the nominees, now let’s see the awards:
Best Supporting Toppings (most possible topping choices): SLAB Pizza’s 50+ toppings and sauces make other pizzerias fold their hands in their laps, cross their legs, and bow their heads as they question their manhood. Slab’s selection of toppings is so thorough that it can be a challenge to find something you CAN’T put on your pizza.
Best Cheese in a Leading Role: Oh, that all cheeses could be like unto Pizzeria 712’s hand-pulled mozzarella. The freshness is stunningly apparent in every bite, and if “hand-pulling” a cheese, whatever that means, makes something this tasty and delicious, I suggest we start hand-pulling everything. We need hand-pulled breakfast cereals! We need hand-pulled Dalmatians for our Firemen and hand-pulled moustaches for our police officers; if it can be handled and it can be pulled, then Pizzeria 712’s amazing cheese testifies to us that it ought to be!
Best Adapted Pizza (most traditional): With their back-to-basics restaurant story (the owner’s parents are real Italians) and wonderful pizza composition, Nicolitalia Pizzeria’s remarkable pie must be applauded. By setting their sights on making “an East-Coast-style pizza, which is mouthwatering in its simplicity,” Nicolitalia has set itself apart from the Americanized peasant food surrounding it, stepped out of the pack with a pizza recipe from the past and a gaze fixed on the future.
Best Art Direction (Appearance of the pizza): Brick Oven Pizza has been at this game for a long time, and their presentation shows it. Every pizza is a sublime ballet of cheeses, meats and vegetables, with each ingredient adding its own little part to the pizza’s rousing rendition of “Sauce Lake”.
Best Original Story (The Story of the Restaurant): Pizzeria 712’s story is simple, but compelling. In preparation to start a gourmet pizza shop, the owners contacted a company in Italy who specialized in the design and construction of wood-burning pizza ovens. The new oven was commissioned, built and a representative from the oven company was sent to construct it on-site. As he worked, he told the owners of this new Utah pizzeria that “the optimal temperature for cooking pizza was 712o Fahrenheit,” and Pizzeria 712 was born.
Best Set Design (restaurant decor): Nicolitalia Pizzeria’s eclectic “poster collection” has already garnered a reputation for being entertaining, interesting, and anything but pretentious. On the contrary, the many posters on the walls of Nicolitalia’s Provo store seem to have been drawn by an army of pizza-sated “arteests,” each armed with a magic marker, some mild color-blindness and a dream. They are often bright, often bizarre and often framed like masterpieces, which belies the off-kilter spirit that dwells within.
Brick Oven Restaurant
111 East 800 North
2295 N University Parkway
320 South State Suite 147
669 E 800 N