Dough Boy

I'm a politically correct and ethnically diverse pizza lover, and I won't turn my nose up at a wedge of Sicilian pan pizza or a California-style pizza strewn with broccoli. I especially enjoyed Vito's vegetable combo, because Maffei sautes the eggplant, broccoli, spinach, and tomato with a little garlic before he ladles it onto a ricotta-smeared crust. He also roasts his own peppers, which were delicious on the Italian antipasto, brightening the diced soppressata and prosciutto as well as chopped romaine and sliced black olives. His chicken, which he also cooks himself, is of the highest quality and was wonderfully tender over a just-tossed caesar salad with homemade focaccia croutons.

Salads and focaccia sandwiches, incidentally, are the only offerings besides pizza. And while the green-and-white tables are clean and shiny, there aren't many of them. Maffei will soon add several more tables outside, however, and he plans to acquire a beer-and-wine license by May. If you're not up for eating at the restaurant, Vito's does deliver.

Like any other transplant, I still get the NYPD blues: the hankering for honest-to-goodness New York Pizza Delivery. I crave that thin, crisp crust, the tender, stringy cheese, the olive oil drizzled over the top of the pie, so hot from the oven it blisters my mouth. Take away all Vito Maffei's toppings, and you're left with that elusive New York-style pizza for which the purists are forever searching. At Vito's Gourmet Pizza, consider it found.

Vito's Gourmet Pizza. 6212 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-772-7701. Lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 a.m. till 11 p.m; Friday and Saturday until midnight.

Antipasto
$4.95
Medium cheese pizza
$7.75
Small formaggio supreme
$8.95
Large pan pizza seafood combo
$16.95
Large calzone
$12.95

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