A beloved source of creatively topped pizzas since 1989, the esteemed Portland mini-chain Pizzicato (1265 NW 10th Ave., 503-226-1007) opened a handsome, contemporary outpost late last year in the stunning new Cosmopolitan on the Park. The building is also home to Tea Bar and the greatly anticipated modern Spanish restaurant, Can Font. Glamorous though the Cosmo is, Pizzicato turns out reasonably priced pies—available whole or by the slice—along with a number of tasty side items (warm artichoke-spinach dip, anyone?).
Pizzicato’s location in a modern condo tower clearly informed the restaurant’s decorative elements. This may be a fast-casual pizza joint, but the space is airy and urbane. Note the high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, curvy globe lamps, and ample seating that ranges from bright-orange banquette benches on one side of the restaurant to sleek cafe tables on the other. Additionally, on nice days, you’ll spy patrons munching on delicious pizza at tables set along the boardwalk promenade outside along 10th Avenue.
Pizzicato’s Top Pies
If you’ve been to any of Pizzicato’s other locations around metro Portland, you’ve probably dropped by for a satisfying slice or two. Indeed, slices of several types of pies are always available. If you have the time and the appetite, however, you’d be wise to go with a full made-to-order pizza. They’re available in four sizes (from 10 to 18 inches), and whole-wheat, gluten-free, and vegan versions are among the options.
Pizzicato has earned a loyal following over the years for its long-time favorite pies, including the popular puttanesca topped with fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and feta on a garlic–olive oil base. A particular request among carnivores, the Molto Carne arrives heaping with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, fennel sausage, mushrooms, and olives. Other notable pies include the kale and Italian sausage, Thai shrimp, and wild mushroom–chevre pies. And on any given night, there’s always a special. On a recent visit, we dug happily into the Pizza Bravas, smothered with roasted potatoes, Spanish chorizo, and manchego cheese. (We sure wouldn’t mind seeing this added to the regular menu.)
More Than Just Pizza
You’ll find much more here to nosh on beyond pizzas. Whet your appetite with one of several starters—favorites include the signature bread sticks oozing with melted mozzarella. You’ll also find a selection of six different salads, among them a Chinese “chop” with cabbages, lettuces, and veggies mixed in with crispy wonton noodles,
peanuts, and spicy Asian dressing. The arugula-and-pear salad packed with house-made candied walnuts, gorgonzola, and balsamic dressing also has plenty of fans. Salads are available in three sizes—order the largest, and you have an entrée-size dish. Panini sandwiches, from traditional meatball to bacon-chicken-avocado club, round out the savory side of the menu.
Pizzicato offers a full selection of local wines and craft beers (from Eola Hills Pinot Noir to Fort George Brewery Cavatica Stout), plus a nice slate of cocktails, and a cookies and brownies for dessert. For a quick, satisfying meal, this cheerful pizzeria is welcome addition to the north side of the neighborhood.