When most envision pizza, a simple combination of red sauce, mozzarella and the occasional pepperoni come to mind. Our out-of-the-box thoughts, however, inspired our pursuit of pizza pioneers for something a bit more exciting. This month, we set out to try four of the area’s innovative wood-fired, grilled and brick-oven pizzas.
Flatbread Company’s Mopsy’s Kalua Pork Pie mixes Pacific flavors with local ingredients for a heavenly Hawaiian bite. A crispy crust is topped with smoked, free-range pork shoulder, organic chipotle barbecue sauce, fresh pineapple and a blend of mozzarella, Parmesan and Vermont goat cheese. The contrast of the sweet pineapple and the savory pork delights was delicious, while a traditional herb mix blends beautifully with the creamy goat cheese. 161 Cushing Street. 273-2737, flatbreadcompany.com
Even the less-adventurous pizza enthusiast will find a sweet surprise in The Tree House Tavern’s Sweet Potato Pizza. The combination of sweet potato strips, prosciutto, balsamic glaze and goat cheese atop an expertly baked crust is a non-traditional triumph. With the perfect amount of cheese, charred sweet potato and plenty of salty prosciutto, this pizza is definitely a great addition to any dinner table. 1094 Centerville Road, Warwick. 821-1447, thetreehousetavern.com
A healthier take on the traditional treat, Garden Grille’s seasonal pizza takes the guilt out of your next pizza party. A grilled whole-wheat crust, topped with a sweet tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella and fresh basil, serves up all of the elements of a caprese salad. Simplicity shines at it’s best with this classic vegetarian combo, yet still maintains that all-satisfying pizza-guilt goodness. 727 East Avenue #7, Pawtucket. 726-2826, gardengrilleri.com
The Fire Brick Oven Pizza and Bar believes that a pizza is more than the sum of its parts. The Pollo Balsamico Pizza certainly does not skimp on toppings. With balsamic marinated chicken, roasted peppers, scallions, mozzarella and drizzled balsamic syrup, the flavors combine sweet and savory perfectly. Fresh basil, crispy crust and sweet tomato sauce make this pizza truly magnifico. 1874 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence. 353-7110, thefirenp.com
Photography by Meghan H. Follett