|Aw, wasn't he such a stinkin' cute kid|
When my mother suggested just ordering pizza and eating at her house, I quickly chimed in to proclaim that Pizzology was on my restaurant bucket list and wasn't too far from her place in Fishers.
Pizzology is another brainchild of Indy restaurateur, Neal Brown, located at 131st and Hazel Dell Rd in Carmel. It is described as "Neapolitan Craft Pizza. Local, artisanal ingredients" Sounds intriguing enough to me. It also boasts a nice local craft beer list, too. But most importantly, for this occasion, the key was to find a place that was kid-friendly. My niece is 1 and a half and my nephew just celebrated his 6th birthday. As much as I'd love to enjoy an upscale birthday dinner, convenience was necessity.
It is located in a small shopping center on the west side of Hazel Dell Rd and is located a little ways back from the road so we accidentally drove past it the first time (just be on the look out). The interior space is artfully designed. To the right is a bar area that, on a Tuesday night, was completely empty and then to the left was the main dining area. This is not a humongous space but I think that it works since it's supposed to be a neighborhood joint. The focal point of the restaurant is the open kitchen with eat-up bar so that you can sit and watch your pizza being assembled and then tossed in the wood-burning, brick pizza oven.
|My nephew with "Oma"|
|Couldn't put his Nintendo DS down|
We were quickly greeted by our delightfully wonderful and knowledgeable server, I want to say her name was Maria but I'm having a bit of a brain-fart. None of us had dined there before so we all intently listened as she named off the specials and added some personal recommendations including Sun King Brewery's Malus Pi. Excellent choice. I call it cider beer on steroids with wintry, spice notes.
I had done a little research prior to going and was told by a few people to ask for the bread sticks that are not on the menu. We got a couple orders of those while we perused the rest of the menu. I don't know why they aren't on there because they are insanely delectable: doughy yet not too much raw flour flavor; crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside; and finally, sprinkled with sea salt and Parmesan. I can't forget to mention that they're served with house-made Parmesan cheese sauce and fresh marinara. Both orders were eaten quickly and enjoyed by all!
The Tony's Fritters immediately caught my attention so we also put in a order of those, as well.
You betcha I added a poached farm-fresh egg to that thing! I first must say that I am salivating reminiscing about this unique appetizer that I ate almost a month ago.
When it came out, I immediately smelled the earthy, warm aroma of the truffle. I quickly broke open the poached egg so that the warm, creamy yolk served as an additional dipping sauce. They utilized the truffle as a oil drizzle and as a lightly whipped truffle butter (heavenly). This small plate was so decadent, boastful and completely unexpected. Lucky for me, the kids and a few others weren't interested so I got to eat most of it. BRAVO!
For our entrees, we ordered 2 pies: 1 for the adventurous eaters (CARNI) and 1 for the tame eaters (PEPPERONI)
When I think of my perfect pizza here's how I construct it in my mind:
- Hand-kneaded dough that is thin and crispy
- House-made tomato sauce was is slightly chunky, sweet and lightly seasoned
- Layer of rich, salty white cheese, not too much, and not so rubbery that it all comes off in one bite
- Local, fresh, seasonal ingredients
- Baked in a brick wood-burning oven
This is how I ultimately describe the Carni pizza. I call this the "Perfect Date" pizza: Porchetta, Mortadella and Pepperoni for the man and arugula, thinly sliced rings of white Spring onions and salty, briny capers for the lady. This is a knife and fork kind of pizza that encapsulates all the flavor basics: crunchy/melty, salty/sweet, fresh/baked.
The Pepperoni pizza was equally crafted. Even my picky-eater nephew ate some.
I think my brother polished off most of it, though. That guy can eat anything, at any quantity and gain 0 pounds.
Although I was completely stuffed and slipping into a bit of a gluttonous food coma, I riskily ordered some Pistachio gelato. I knew everyone else would take a little bite and that in the end, a sweet cap is always a good call. Of course, I was right again.
I just love the rich, creamy, slow-churned quality of gelato. Then mix it with the saltiness of the pistachio and it's just divine. We easily polished it off and took a moment to let the digestion process begin.
|The Birthday Boy with a variety pack of K-cups|
|My Mama and I|
I must give another huge congrats to Neal Brown in creating an experience quite different to that of The Libertine downtown. Both equally share an obvious love of cooking, thoughtfulness in crafting a full bar and food menu, and ingenuity of doing so by utilizing local resources. Pizzology caters to a more suburban and family-oriented crowd at very family-friendly prices while not sacrificing quality.
I sure hope that it won't be long until talented, Indy restaurateurs venture down to the south side of Indianapolis which I think is just dying to be tapped! (wink, wink! hint, hint!)
PIZZOLOGY (on Twitter @pizzology)
13190 Hazel Dell Parkway Carmel, IN 46033