Friday, July 4th, 2008
Two words: Lardo pizza. Or pig-fat pizza.
Fresh slices of house-cured lardo on top of a wood-fired pizza. Toss on a few tomatoes and you’ll never look at another piece of mushroom and pepperoni quite the same way again. And it’s just one of the devilish pizzas at Dino Bugica’s pizzeria, Diavola.
Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria a bit of destiny for the former Santi chef who’s made his name as a top salumist in the North Bay. Bugica has a passion for pig — house-curing everything from prosciutto and salumi to his own sausage and lardo right on the property. If you stroll through the back gardens, you might even trip over a pig skull or two, an homage to his porcine pals.
With Santi’s reputation for higher-end Italian secured, Bugica decided to branch out into a simpler “cucina povera” (the simplest of kitchen foods) next door — pizza, antipasti, sandwiches and an entire case of his fresh salumi’s for take-out. It’s just the sort of quick-bite spot that the northernmost end of the Alexander Valley/Dry Creek region was in desperate need of.
Located just steps from the former Santi (now Catelli’s) Diavola’s (which means devilish in Italian) menu includes a selection of
antipasti (a seafood plate with squid, shrimp, mussels and clams; house made burrata; local tomatoes with gorgonzola and a vegetable plate) along with nine wood-fired pizzas that range from a simple zucchini flower and buffalo mozzarella ‘Margherita’ to a Ligurian clam and herb pizza or caper, anchovy and hot pepper pizza. The aptly-named Diavola pizza is topped with N’duja (a spicy Calabrian salami), arugula an Stracchino cheese.
For lunch, there are also salads and pannini, along with a full wine list featuring local and Italian wines.
Prepare for a bit of sticker shock. Prices for pizzas range from $$12.50 to a hefty $17 for the clam pizza — and we’re not talking 16-inchers here. Antipasti, like the house-cured prosciutto and seafood are priced between $12.75 and $14.75. It’s steep for an average pizzeria, but not out of line for the kind of quality and expertise that Bugica should be bringing to the table. I’ve long been a fan of his salumi, and frankly, for lardo pizza, BiteClub would be willing to pay, well, at least $14.
Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria, 21021 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, 707.814.0111. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:30am to 9pm Wednesday through Monday. Closed Tuesday.