Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Harry’s Pizzeria 
Design District

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that can make a bad day good. On this occasion it was a slice of pizza from Harry’s Pizzeria [3918 N Miami Ave.]. For me pizza is attached to a memory, a memory featured on this blog previously, but that doesn’t mean that I am particular to any one style of pie. Although I’m partial to the New York style I can appreciate a good slice. During our trip to Italy we got to experience pizza in its source, Naples. The Neapolitan pizza is simply pure, tomatos, fresh mozzarella and basil. In Chicago we had the deep dish; true to its name, the deep dish is more a pie than a pizza, but the combination of chewy and crispy achieved in the cast iron pans, put the Chicago style pizza in a class of its own. At Harry’s Pizzeria they are producing more of the artisanal brand pizza. The pies are fired in a wood burning oven with a thin crust, lightly charred with extremely fresh ingredients; what you would come to expect from Chef Michael Schwartz.

The menu features an assortment of “snacks” including Marinate Olives, Homemade Organic Ricotta and Meatballs in Sauce. We went with the Polenta Fries presented Lincoln Log style and served with a tangy marinara sauce and the Caponata, both excellent choices. In addition to the “snacks” there are daily soups and salads, like the Peach & Frisee and the Escarole.

To accompany our food we went with a Cat 3 IPA from local brewery Due South. This IPA is heavy on the malt and hops, but it’s not too bitter. Harry’s has great selection of beers on tap as well as more in bottle.  But if you prefer a glass of wine or bottle with your meal, Harry’s can accommodate.

As for the pies, they all have one thing in common: the crust. I’m not usually a fan of the cracker like crust, but Harry’s has managed to give their crust the proper balance of textures with just the right amount of char from the wood oven. The dough is thin and crisp, but with a little bite. But what makes the pies at Harry’s stand out are the inspired mix of toppings. You can go traditional with a Margherita or you can go with one of the more creative options, like the Shortrib or Rock Shrimp pizzas. The Shortrib is topped with cave aged gruyere, caramelized onions, and arugula, an amazing combination of flavors. The Rock Shrimp is a light and refreshing with a blend of grilled lemon, manchego, scallions, and cilantro. Along with the regulars there is a daily lunch special based on seasonal ingredients. The pies, sized for one, range in price from eleven to fifteen dollars. If you are going to share, I would recommend more than one pie unless you’re going to have a salad or few snacks to accompany the pie. If you are not in the mood for pizza, Harry’s also features daily dinner specials like the Wood Oven Roasted ½ Poulet Rouge Chicken or the Crispy Cuban-Stlye Mojo Pork.

Harry’s calls itself a “casual neighborhood joint” and it is. The place has everything you would expect in a local spot, great people, good beer, and exceptional food. It’s the kind of place you can go unwind and let the troubles of your day slip away. The food and service at Harry’s is on point, but don’t take my word for it. Experience it for yourself. 

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