Another good friend turned 30 this past weekend and to kick off the celebration, we went out to dinner. It was a beautifully sunny day on Friday (although it was a bit chilly) so we wanted an outdoor/good view restaurant.
I asked some tweeps for recommendations in the Federal Hill area and got some great ones (that I will have to check out someday) but as soon as I sent it – I thought of Pizzazz Tuscan Grille. It is attached to the Pier 5 hotel (the wedding location of the birthday girl), I read that they had vegan options (so I knew it was veg-friendly) and it was near the water.
But of course – everyone and their mothers had the same idea about dining outdoors. We were all starving so we opted to dine indoors but it was still close enough to windows and whatnot. They also have quite the happy hour… it is equipped with “beer tub girls” and a live band.
One of my complaints is that when we walked into the restaurant, it wasn’t entirely clear where/who would seat us. We saw the “Please Wait to be Seated” sign by the entrance attached to the hotel so we walked over to the sign and waited. And waited. Jeremy finally grabbed a server and we were seated.
The birthday girl and I shared a bottled of Pinot noir (only $20) and it was fantastic. I thought I snapped a pic but my phone apparently ate the picture.
I appreciated that the waitress wasn’t totally stuffy about the wine. She started the whole schpeel where the server shows you the bottle and blah blah blah but I quickly told her that I don’t that formal sort of thing because it makes me uncomfortable. She admitted that it makes her uncomfortable too and just poured me a full glass. I liked her.
Since we were starving, we each ordered an appetizer and split it with our significant other. Jeremy and I had the Insalata Mediterranean (organic spring mix, avocado, red onion, tomato, black olives, cucumbers and imported cubed feta, lightly tossed with cold pressed organic olive oil, seal salt and fresh squeezed lemon – piccoli $11, grande $15).
The birthday girl and her husband ordered the Caprese Con Pomadoro (seasonal organic tomatoes, layered with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella. drizzled with cold pressed olive oil aged balsamic vinegar – piccoli $12, grande $16)
After the bottle of wine and knowing what was in store for us for the evening, I didn’t want to order a large meal. The birthday girl felt the same way so we split the Rustica pizza (roasted peppers, tomato slices, black and green olives and artichoke 9in $12, 12in $16). One of the things I really like about Pizzazz is that they offer whole wheat pizza crusts:
“Fresh dough whole wheat, gluten free and cornmeal pizza available in 9″ only. Can be substituted for any 9″ for an additional $3. Rice and soy cheese add $2.”
The pizza was f’n awesome.
Jeremy ordered a Build your own pizza (piccoli $10, medium $14, grande $16). For the life of me I can’t remember what he put on it other than artichokes.
The birthday girl’s husband also did a build your own pizza and got prosciutto and other stuff on it.
And what is a birthday dinner without dessert? The server brought out a tray (I love when they do that) and I was stoked to hear that they had vegan desserts.
Jeremy and I split the vegan tiramisu:
And the birthday girl and her hubs split a strawberry shortcake:
So would I go back? Sure! I have to say, I’m pretty flexible when it comes to pizza. I love it. It is hard to fuck it up. I just like that they offer whole wheat dough!
I will say that I found it to be a tad pricey… however. They offer pizza toppings that I can’t find everywhere (most notably artichokes… it is SUCH a good pizza topping). So, if you’re visiting the Inner Harbor, I definitely recommend trying this place.