Gaetano's bakery, about a year ago, but it was just for one slice, which didn't seem especially fresh, and I've long meant to go back for a freshly made pie.
In that prior post, I said that Gaetano's Sicilian pizza sounded tempting, and that's what I opted for on a recent visit. "Sicilian" here does not denote a rectangular, thick-crusted, pan pizza, which is what I usually think of as Sicilian pizza, but a regular pizza topped with oil (presumably olive oil), black pepper, fresh garlic, parsley, Romano cheese and basil.
I don't know why, but somehow I had come to expect Gaetano's Siciilan pizza to be a red pizza, i.e. with tomato sauce, similar to a Grandma's or traditional pizza with just sauce and a sprinkling of Romano. But it's a white pizza, no sauce.
OK, well, my fault in thinking otherwise. I like white pizza.
But I don't really like a soft crust, which is what this had. The underside was a bit oily to the touch, and though it wasn't wet-sponge soft, it was definitely on the soft side. As was my slice last October, the underside of this pie was dotted with small, pinprick puncture holes.
The medium-to-thick crust was also a little gummy on top, where it met the cheese. The cheese - which I'm pretty certain was mozzarella - was browned, and formed a uniform blanket over the crust. The Romano cheese overlaid a little sharpness, but the mozzarella certainly predominated.
Bits of chopped, browned garlic also dotted the surface, and this pizza definitely left a garlicky aftertaste. The black pepper was a background presence, and the bits of dried parsley added little, either visually or on the palate. (We need a word for that in English - what's the sense-of-taste equivalent of "visual"?)
This pizza tasted pretty good, but its major shortcoming was the crust. That was one of the things I disliked about my slice last year, and though I guess I had no real reason to expect it to be different this time, I was still disappointed, because Gaetano's bread is so damn good. On an impulse, I found myself getting a gorgeous loaf of bread with my pizza. It had a floury, crunchy crust and a soft, chewy interior. If only some of that had been present in the pizza. I had the sense, in eating the pizza, that the dough was just fine, but that it had not been baked in a way that would extract from it its optimal flavor and texture.
Gaetano’s Bakery, 1439 W. Ridge Rd. 865-7810
Mon. - Thu. 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.