The Messa Luna, above, and the Memphis pizza, below, are specialty pies at Aldo's.
I’ve been looking forward to eating at Aldo’s Pizza Pies, which opened about two weeks ago on the first floor of the Barboro Flats building downtown. But I’m sorry to say, I was a disappointed in the pizza. The restaurant’s ambience and service, however, were excellent. We opted to sit outside for lunch, and when the sun took over, our server graciously shuffled another table into the shade. I thought her attitude was lovely.
Now back to those pizzas, which have a thin, New York-style type of crust. We ordered three 12-inch specialty pies (you can also order 18-inch): The $15 Vodka Pie made with vodka cream sauce and mozzarella; the $17 Messa Luna made with poblano cream, fontina/trugole cheese, eggplant, roasted pepper, sundried tomato and artichoke heart; and the $15 Memphis made with pulled BBQ pork, mozzarella, red onion, and a scoop of coleslaw in the center. One of the pies was, well, terrible; one was above average; and one was a standout.
The Vodka Pie tasted to me like melted cheese on an undercooked crust. I only ate half a slice. The crust on the Messa Luna was much improved, crunchy but still a little chewy, and the combination of toppings was good looking and flavorful. I loved the addition of trugole, an Italian cheese similar to asiago. I’d order this pizza again, and it’s a good choice for vegetarians. Of the three, my favorite was the Memphis, thanks to the pulled pork topping with barbecue sauce. This pie was a delicious surprise: satisfying but not too heavy. I especially liked the pizzza’s refreshing finish from the dollop of slaw we added to each slice.
We started our meal with a Greek salad large enough to share and Aldo’s Bruschetta Trio, a sampling of olive tapenade, basil pesto, and sundried tomato pesto served in Asian soup spoons (very cute!).
The restaurant also serves half-a-dozen hoagies, including the Uncle Carmen (sweet Italian sausages, peppers, onion, and provolone) and the Grand Mother (a repeat of the excellent meatball sandwich also served at Bardog Tavern).
Since it was the middle of the day, we opted for iced tea with plenty of refills. Beer drinkers will be pleased with Aldo’s extensive list of bottles and drafts, including regional brews such as Ghost River (Memphis), Abita Amber (Abita Springs, LA), Yazoo Hop Project (Nashville), and Red Brick Laughing Skull (Atlanta).
Aldo’s Pizza Pies, 100 S. Main, aldospizzapies.com (901) 577-1PIE)