Summer usually has me heading towards the nearest beachside lobster roll shack, but you still can't deny the ultimate crowd pleaser: pizza. The timeless snack — a veritable late-night favorite that works just as well during daylight hours, paired with a green salad, savory olive oil and a favorite vintage wine — is seeing numerous gourmet iterations stateside that make serious eaters reach for the nearest red-and-white checkered bib.
My upcoming Curated Travel Guide to Chicago will reveal my top pie pick, but here's a teaser. While nothing beats the overwhelming slices in the land of deep-dish pizza, I couldn’t resist indulging in the delicious thin slices at Macello. With a menu brimming with old-school Italian favorites, their artisanal pizza stands out with its crispy crust and savory toppings like Cerignola olives and barese sausage. Similarly, Coco Pazzo offers a delectable pizza with onion confit and pancetta that always hits the spot.
Nicoletta in NYC's East Village is Chef Michael White’s love letter to the Midwestern slice. A Wisconsin native, White's group pies are generous, to say the least. The Funghi is to die for with roasted wild mushrooms, sautéed spinach and a porcini marsala cream sauce. When all is said and done, make sure to cleanse your palate with a scoop of gelato topped with strawberry balsamic jam.
The boundary-pushing Portland offers its own spin on the slice, of course. Dove Vivi, a rustic-chic pizza bistro, specializes in pies with a distinct-tasting cornmeal crust. This being Portland, the cornmeal is organic and sourced from Southern Oregon and Northeast California, with all toppings sourced locally and prepared in-house daily. Opt for adventure and order one of their sublime vegan pies — my favorite is the Corn Cashew (vegan roasted red pepper & cashew cheese, fresh sweet corn, and caramelized onions). Now that's amore.