Roman Candle Pizza
In a word: Like the fourth of July in your mouth.
The specs: #0556
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Insider Pages, QSC on East and Middleton, 77Square on Middleton and Fitchburg, Yelp, listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Twitter, Cream City Chow,
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JM, Nichole, and Nino ate the Dead Man Walking (sausage, ham, pepperoni, prosciutto and bacon) and a side of broccoli with a lemonade and a Mud Puppy porter.
The bill was $38, or $12.67/person, with coupon, plus tip.
JM gave Roman Candle Pizza an A; Nichole and Nino gave Roman Candle Pizza an A- (see our grading rubric).
Willy Street's branch has a warm, cozy atmosphere. Late at night the dining room was bathed in orange and yellow light, and small, real flower arrangements decked each table. The pizza platform that folded down from the wall and over our table was ingenious. There were several tables in use at 8pm, something our customarily early dinners rarely let us see.
In the name of nutrition, we got a small side of steamed broccoli topped with nice Parmesan cheese shavings. It was good, if small to split three ways.
The Dead Man Walking pizza was blanketed in meat (with apologies to any vegetarians reading - we hear Roman Candle also throws a mean vegan pizza party). Six kinds of pig-based proteins composed what Nino called a "symphony of meat." Each bite was an exciting guessing game: "What am I tasting now? I'm not sure!" Compared to our most recent meat-centric pizza, the Meat Pyramid at erstwhile Pizza Oven, the Dead Man Walking had both higher-quality ingredients and more of them:
- Sweet, fennel-spiked sausage dominated the flavor;
- Chunks of not-too-salty ham were filling;
- Pepperoni was there just in case there wasn't enough grease;
- Prosciutto and bacon used sparingly, mostly under the cheese, added smoky depth.
The crust was thin, floppy near the middle and crisp on the edges.
Roman Candle currently delivers to most of Madison and has a really nifty map (whoa, Oregon, you lucky ducks! Who knew? And Monona, too bad, but at least you have Rossi's). Its three menus are basically the same, except that Fitchburg offers sandwiches and more pasta options and Middleton has a wider selection of wine and beer. Boom!