Tantalo's, which opened last year in the former site of a Pontillo's pizzeria in Greece.
I went there at lunchtime shortly after it opened, and the only slices they had available were Buffalo chicken slices. I got one (pictured in the bottom photo), which was OK, but not great. The crust was rather soft, and while the toppings were tasty enough, the chicken seemed a bit overcooked and the toppings just didn't come together that well.
But as I said, this was not long after they opened, so I figured I'd wait a while and go back.
Which I did, recently. And to judge by the two slices I got on this occasion, things had indeed improved.
This time, there were four selections, from which I chose a pepperoni slice and a white slice with broccoli, ricotta and tomatoes (the other choices were plain cheese and another white pizza with banana peppers and black olives).
These were a definite improvement over the time before, in my opinion. The crusts were on the thick side of medium, and after a brief rewarming, they were crisp and crackly underneath, yet still pliable and not brittle. I should point out that I don't think my earlier Buffalo chicken slice had been rewarmed, which
The undersides were browned,in a mottled pattern, with a light dusting of corn meal. The interior of the crust was chewy, well risen and well baked.
As for the toppings, the pepperoni slice was topped with nicely crisped cup & char pepperoni. The cheese was a bit overly browned, but it's always going to be a challenge to strike the balance between the cheese and pepperoni (might I suggest par-cooking the pepperoni before it's added to the pizza?). The sauce was a basic tomato sauce, with a good balance of sweet and salty.
The white slice was flavorful, with a light coating of olive oil, topped with small chunks of broccoli and sliced tomatoes, overlaid by mozzarella and a few bits of ricotta cheese. The veggies were added before the cheese, which was a smart move, as it kept them moist. Pepperoni, I like crisp; veggies should retain most of their moisture.
Tantalo's offers 17 pizza toppings, and 13 specialty pizzas. Among the most interesting of the latter are the "Mama Mary's Greens & Beans Pizza," with sauteed greens, cannelini beans, sausage, mozzarella and Parmesan.
Beyond pizza, Tantalo's offers wings, which can be ordered with any one of some 13 sauces, and mac & cheese - which seems to be a trendy dish of late, although even as a kid I was never crazy about it - in a variety of combinations.
Tantalo's also offers an interesting lineup of hot and cold subs, and salads that go beyond the usual "chef's salad." For example, there's a beet salad with blue cheese, candied walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. I've never been able to decide if I like beets or not, but that's intriguing. I'm waiting for someone to put them on pizza. I may even try that at home, much, I'm sure, to the dismay of my wife and daughter, who are decidedly in the anti-beet camp. And Tantalo's menu is the first I've seen since I don't know when to offer Waldorf salad, which immediately brings to mind an episode of the funniest sitcom ever made, Fawlty Towers.
If you've got room left after your pizza, sub or salad, Tantalo's has also got some decadent sweets, like deep-fried Twinkies or Oreos, or simple, freshly baked cookies.
My primary focus, of course, is the pizza. And this was good. Not so head-and-shoulders above other area pizzerias that I'd give it an A rating, but better than average. Nice crust, good toppings. So I'll give it a B.
Tantalo's Pizzeria, 3366 Latta Rd.
Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sun. noon - 6 p.m.
Delivery available (min. order $12)