Tony's Pizza, the little Neapolitan den right next to the Egyptian Theatre, is just like dining in Italy.
First, the place is smaller than a trailer--about nine-feet wide by half a pool long. It offers no privacy, but there's a hearty beer and wine list, so couples can sit at the teeny tables and get all loose and chatty, not concerned with the other couple one foot over.
The menu is limited to salads, pizza and calzones--"take it or leave it style," just like in Italy.
My date, Luciano, and I stopped at Tony's for a weekend lunch. It was busy, but we were immediately seated. I ordered the margarita pizza--just like in Italy you have to specify a pie with cheese, or you'll just get sauce- on-dough--and Luciano ordered a calzone with mushrooms, spinach and cheeses.
The calzone came out first so we split it. Buonissimo, squisito! It was delicious--kind of small, but brick-oven baked and oozing with calzone guts. Really one of the best 'zones I've eaten.
When we were almost finished scarfing it, out came the pie. This is the kind of pie popular in southern Italy and on the East Coast of the United States, but harder to find here in Boise (though a new selection of brick-oven pizza parlors has sprouted around town). It is brick-oven baked with just a hit of tasty char on the bottom, and you can watch the pizza man himself toss and stretch the dough. Because the place is so small, guests are practically sitting in the kitchen.
The pie is 13 inches, which is the right amount to eat alone if you're hungry or good to share with someone if you've ordered a salad or calzone. The pizza has a thin crust, so it goes down quickly. Our shared combo was perfectly filling.
Luciano thought the pie was too saucy; that didn't bother me as much as that the sauce was kind of bland. But pizza is pizza, I love it all, and Tony's got a pretty good recipe. We'll go back to Tony's, especially because we both have precious little vacation time, and hitting up Tony's is like taking a little trip. Buon appetito!
--Jennifer Gelband has little droplets of skin hanging from the roof of her mouth, which is a good sign of a good pizza pie.