Rosati's Authentic Chicago Pizza
In a word: Looks like we finally got a piece of the pie.
The specs: #0557
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JM, Nichole, Ross and Samantha ate a Chicago-style Classic Combo (sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, peppers, and black olives), a thin crust Godfather (sausage, garlic, and hot giardiniera), and two fountain drinks.
The bill was $35, or $8.75/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Rosati's Authentic Chicago Pizza an A- (see our grading rubric).
Rosati's is in a nondescript strip on Mineral Point, next to a plethora of other fast food and speedy service options. Back in the day, Rosati's was Ross's go-to work lunch pizza place because of their reliable speed and value, not to mention the pizza, which reminded him of the best things about the New York slices he ate growing up. Which is odd, since Rosati's bills itself as staunchly Chicagoan, but we're not going to touch the "authenticity" thing with a ten-foot peel.
We sat down in the homey, warm, slightly shabby but clean dining room, and were treated to Sinatra on the stereo. The quarters were dark, warm, and close, with high-backed wooden booths fitted tightly with their built-in tables, but we weren't sitting on top of each other.
We enjoyed our loopy, conscientious server, who plied us with warm popcorn until the pizzas arrived and cheerily brought soda refills all evening.
Naturally, the thin crust Godfather arrived first. The sauce was smooth and sweet. For a thin crust, this one was rather thick. The toppings were super: the sausage was good, but we especially liked the use of giardiniera. This pepper mix included celery (a first for us as a pizza topping) and was spicy but tamed by the cheese. The heat of this pizza stays with you in a good, staunch, peppery way.
We were all impressed with the differences between the sauces on the two pizzas. On the Chicago-style deep dish "Classic Combo," the sauce was chunky and had a richer, less sweet tomato flavor, with a touch of citrus that complemented the toppings. We all preferred the Godfather, though some of that might have been due to the Primacy Effect and the fact that we were getting full, which dampened the Recent Effect.
The check was delivered with a red silk rose and starlight mints - pitch-perfect. We left still hoping this mini-mall can support two pizza places, and if one of them has to go, based on hearsay about Dahmen's not living up to our Pizza Oven meal, we'd probably mourn Rosati's more.