As finals begin to take over our lives, what better way to kick back and relax than to head off campus to enjoy a quality, moderately-priced meal in a warm, comfortable neighborhood café? Newly opened this year, Katie’s Pizzeria, with its delicious pizza and dessert options, along with its cozy dining room, offers the frenzied student some much-needed respite.
Located right across from Schnucks, the pizzeria was not hard to find. My friends and I were seated at a round, hardwood table, which had a vase of fresh flowers placed on it—a nice touch, especially on a cold, dark night. We listened to the music playing softly in the background and felt at ease in the rustic, convivial atmosphere. Soon after we were seated, we were greeted by our waitress.
Katie’s Pizzeria offers appetizers, salads, desserts and, you guessed it, pizza.
Appetizers include such unique options as gorgonzola and artichoke toasted ravioli served with pesto dipping sauce, Tuscan shrimp with kalamata olives, shaved fennel, clementines and pistachios and proscuitto spring rolls. Salads include an intriguing fried artichoke served with goat cheese and pistachios, a grilled tuna niçoise salad, a roasted beet salad and more. The restaurant also has a full bar, which serves wine, beer and cocktails.
The pizzeria offers 10 different types of pizza, each served on a thin, crisp crust. My friends and I sampled three: the Margherita, the Quattro Formaggio and the Sausage. The 12-inch pizzas are sliced into six medium-sized pieces. This was plenty of food for three relatively-small, moderately-hungry young women. Of course, we also had to make sure to leave room for dessert.
The Margherita pizza consisted of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. There was no sauce. The pizza tasted exceptionally fresh. However, I did not find it particularly exciting.
The sausage pizza included fennel sausage, leeks, fontina cheese and pine nuts. Indeed, I was the only one able to eat this pizza since one of my friends is allergic to pine nuts and the other friend is going through a “no red meat” phase. So the more for me, I thought. I don’t think I’ve ever had leeks on my pizza before, nor have I ever eaten fennel sausage, but fortunately this pizza turned out to be quite satisfying. The red sauce was subtly spicy and the sausage was crumbled generously atop the pizza. The leeks had a mild, onion-like taste that complemented the pizza’s savory, nutty flavors.
And finally, there was the Quattro Formaggio. How boring, I thought: a simple cheese pizza. Couldn’t my friends pick one of the crazier options, like the pizza with potatoes, parsnips and pancetta? But, my need for gastronomic adventure was unjustified. In fact, the Quattro Formaggio ended up being our favorite pizza of the night. Like the sausage pizza, it had a red sauce, but this sauce was less spicy, providing a tasty and traditional flavor. The pizza was topped with—you guessed it again—four cheeses. These included a generous amount of mozzarella, ricotta salata, fontina and gorgonzola. Now I swear every single time I’ve gone out to eat lately, whether I’m doing a review or not, ricotta salata is somewhere on the menu. And inevitably, my friends and family ask me what it is. Sadly, I do not actually know what ricotta salata is, but, unwilling to ruin my newly-acquired reputation as an all-knowing foodie, I attempt to provide a description of standard ricotta cheese and then, upon further questioning, in a painfully honest fashion, later admit that I don’t really know what I’m talking about. So I finally broke down and looked up the real definition. According to CurdNerds.com: the cheese blog—yes, this seriously exists—Ricotta Salata means “salted ricotta” and is made from sheep’s milk. Well, that wasn’t so complicated now, was it?
Now that that mystery has been solved, let’s move on to dessert. Katie’s Pizzeria offers three desserts: gelato, cheesecake and carrot cake. My friend and I opted to share the carrot cake, and boy, I’m glad we did. This cake was the shining star of the evening. The large slice of cake was centered on a long white platter drizzled with chocolate sauce and decorated with fresh strawberries and blackberries. It was topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. My friend and I agreed that I should simply describe it as ridiculously good.
As we got ready to leave the restaurant, I awkwardly said hello to two other friends who happened to be on a date at the pizzeria that same night. One of them had a beautiful pizza adorned with a generous amount of large shrimp. Her date had a pizza topped with asparagus and prosciutto. Their pizzas looked so delicious that I realized that I would have to return to Katie’s to try more.
So if you can, take some time out from your studies to eat some delicious pizza and relax in cozy Katie’s Pizzeria. Order the Quattro Frommagio, impress your friends with your knowledge of ricotta salata and don’t forget to leave room for dessert!
*Dear Kate’s Adoring Fans – a.k.a. Mom and Dad: This is her last food review for the year since she’ll be abroad next semester. She wishes Wash. U. well and hopes that she’ll be able to find decent restaurants in England. She will see you next year!
Tags: gelato, pizza, quattro formaggio, Ricotta Salata, salad
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