Monday, April 6

Ranalli's Pizza Goes Artisan

My foodie world doesn't just revolve around foie gras and filet mignon, I also enjoy some good old comfort food, especially pizza. I stopped by Ranalli's in Lincoln Park which was recently taken over by the Four Corners Tavern Group. Four Corners gave the space a facelift including adding the "King's Table", a table with taps allowing you to pour your own beer (dangerous!). On my visit, I had one goal: check out the pizza lineup. Ranalli's offers several varieties of pizzas including thin crust, pan style, and their newest offering, hand tossed Neapolitan style pizzas.

We started our meal with some salad to (sort of) balance things out. The salad bowls at Ranalli's are generously filled with tomatoes, onions, olives, pepperoncinis, mozzarella, garbanzo beans, and croutons (the warm breadstick also was a nice addition).

Salad Bowl
Salad Bowl
In the spirit of blog research, I taste tested two types, the thin crust spicy pizza, and the hand tossed prosciutto & arugula pizza. The spicy pizza wasn't messing around, but I LOVE spicy food. The 'za featured calabrese, habanero chicken, garlic, jalapeno, pickled Hungarian peppers, mozzarella and pepper jack, all on a thin crust. I loved the intense flavor from the wide variety of toppings. If you're love spice, you'll enjoy this. If not, steer clear. The crust was crispy and not too greasy overall.

Spicy Pizza
Spicy Pizza
The prosciutto and arugula pizza was a nice, lighter contrast of flavors. Ranalli's is pretty generous with their toppings and we had a nice portion of thinly sliced prosciutto. The arugula was a bit hard to eat without it falling all over the place, but I enjoyed the peppery flavor. The best part? The crust. Crispy on the edges, soft and doughy in the middle, with a buttery flavor. I thought this was well above your standard bar pizza and was better than some pizza I've had at fancier places!

Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza
Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza
The other new hand tossed pizza offerings include:

Bacon & Potato: olive oil, fingerling potatoes, thick cut bacon, mozzarella, chimichurri, egg
Kale & Sausage: onions, Hungarian peppers, mozzarella
Margherita: mozzarella, basil, tomato

and for dessert:

Apple: cinnamon sugar, roasted apples, caramel, candied walnuts, creme anglaise

Overall, I enjoyed the toppings and intense flavor of the spicy pizza, but the crust on the arugula & prosciutto pizza will have me coming back. Ranalli's is more than just a great neighborhood (Wisconsin Badgers) sports bar. They're raising the bar (literally) with their artisan pizzas.

Note: my meal at Ranalli's was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Ranalli's
1925 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
312.642.4700
Rocco Ranalli's on Urbanspoon

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