Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it DeFazio's?
Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Marchello's?

Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Piatto Pizzeria?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (sucking SO bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

Piatto PizzeriaToday's review is on Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria in Wichita. 

This is the 16th pizza joint I've tried in my quest of finding the best pizza in the metro.  I've never eaten here before but I've really been looking forward to it because they feature a true wood burning pizza oven and Neapolitan style pizza. 

"What makes pizza Neapolitan?" you ask... 

From Wikipedia:  According to the rules proposed by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of wheat flour (type 0 or 00, or a mixture of both), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer's yeast, salt and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other machine, and may be no more than 3 millimeters (0.12 in) thick. The pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a 485 °C (905 °F) wood fire oven. When cooked, it should be soft, elastic, tender and fragrant.

Piatto Pizza Fold
A perfect fold and some added Parm, pizza heaven

Walking into the place, I was greeted nicely by two members of the staff and since it was lunch for one, I found a seat at the bar.  This is an upscale place with a nice selection of wines and craft beers and the bar is set up directly in front of the pizza prep area and in full view of the pizza oven.  Having reviewed the menu online before arriving, I ordered the Sausage & Mushroom pizza and a Wingman Wheat beer - brewed right here in Wichita - to wash it down with.  Here's the description of the pizza from the restaurant menu:  The Anchor Meat Market's sausage, sautéed shiitake, cremini, and white button mushrooms, Pecorino Romano, fresh mozzarella, olive oil. 

My beer, a water and table service was quickly delivered and set up to where I was sitting at the bar.  Enjoying a sip of beer, it didn't take long at all for my pizza to be crafted, then strategically placed in the oven and in true Neapolitan fashion it was done in 90 seconds. 

It was pulled with excellent timing and if pizza looks could kill.....  The crust - the foundation of a pizza - was absolutely beautiful, having a bit of that wood fired char you're looking for on the edges, and in taking that first bite it was soft, pliable and perhaps THE best crust I've had to date in this challenge, allowing for a perfect pizza fold.  DELICIOUS!   The sauce dressed the crust quite nicely, I picked up the pleasant notes of the basil and hint of salt - not too much, not too little.  The generous portion of sausage was seasoned nicely, the fresh mozzarella delivered soft, creamy notes with each bite and the sauteed mushrooms were spot on. 

And here's a neat thing about the place....  So after my pizza was pulled, the pizza artist - yes truly - put some more wood on the fire and stoked it.  Patrons caught a pleasant whiff of that smoky amber ambience, providing for a nice 'Naples in Wichita' pizza experience.

Costing me $17 for a 12" pie, I'm giving Piatto Pizzeria 5 out of 5 stars.  The price is on the high end for what you would typically pay for a 12" sausage and mushroom pizza at most places, but Piatto is no typical pizza joint.  The high quality, fresh ingredients used in crafting this pizza, combined with that incredible dough and pizza oven makes for a top notch pizza!  Piatto Pizzeria is definitely worth a repeat visit.  I look forward to trying all their other pizza options!

5 stars

Piatto Pizzeria is located at:

1706 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita, KS 67214
P: 316-680-4625

The service was courteous, attentive and the pizza rocks.


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