Pizzava is smack in the heart of midtown with a nanobrewery next door in perfect symbiosis. The restaurant has seating for perhaps 20. On a recent visit, my group snagged three small tables and attempted conversation despite the din of pounding house music. Maybe I’m getting old.
We began with several medium specialty pies ($13.99), including a Turkish Delight with feta, tomato, black olive, green pepper, mozzarella and marinara; a Steak Bomb with American cheese, thin-sliced steak, onion, mushroom, green pepper, mozzarella and marinara; a BBQ Chicken and Bacon with grilled chicken breast, bacon, green pepper, onion, mozzarella and barbecue sauce; and an Alfredo Chicken with chicken, spinach and alfredo sauce.
The crust was thin yet crispy and had decent flavor. The Turkish pizza was a bit lacking in feta. The Alfredo sauce was creamy, though lacking in garlic, but the spinach added flavor and color. The barbecue pie was pretty good and had just enough bacon to for us to know it was there. The Steak Bomb was indeed bomb. The cheeses worked with the meat and veggies—a solid substitute for a Philly cheesesteak. Not a slice of that bomb pizza made it home.
A large Backyard pizza ($15.99) with pepperoni, sausage, onion, green pepper, mushroom, mozzarella, marinara and added tomato and black olive ($1.50 extra each) was just OK. The crust was so thin that the crispness was lost, and we had to roll it up. Ordering smaller pizzas may be better if you want crispiness throughout.
A Bolls Calzone ($16.99) was large enough for two or three people to share, with sliced meatballs and mozzarella and a side of marinara sauce. Unlike other pizza turnovers I’ve had in the past, this beast was literally a 15-inch pie folded in half—a bit flat in appearance—with extra cheese tossed on top and nicely browned. It was thankfully sliced into eight strips—perfect for dipping in sauce. But I wished the sauce had more herb and garlic flavor. The meatballs were tender, if a little under-seasoned, and there was plenty of cheese.
An order of chicken wings ($9.99 for 10) was served unadorned with a choice of hot, Buffalo or barbecue sauce on the side, as well as cups of blue cheese and ranch dressing. While I consider it odd to see untossed wings, they were crispy and moist, and a quick dunk in Buffalo sauce did the trick. Some of the places in town serving soggier wings might want to try this trick to preserve crispiness.
An order of cheesy bread with marinara ($6.99) was better than your average pizza sans sauce. And one of my friends just had to have some garlic balls with marinara and cinnamon balls with vanilla icing ($5.99 each).
The bits of crispy, baked dough with butter and garlic confirmed my suspicions about the blandness of the marinara and alfredo sauces; in lieu of real garlic, they were dusted with garlic powder and disappointingly bland without the tomato sauce. If you put garlic in the name, I’d better taste some genuine stinking rose. The cinnamon balls—once dunked in icing—more or less hit the cinnamon roll and dessert marks.
There was also a dessert pizza available with Nutella and coconut, which appealed to none of us. I’m sure it’s wonderful if you’re into that sort of thing. My last thought was wishing I’d noticed the “20 percent off first online order” notice. I should have used my smartphone instead of ordering at the counter.