The Wedge Pizzeria: organic, inventive and delicious
Not to tie the excellent Wedge Pizzeria to that mediocre pantry staple, Wolf Brand Chili, but stranger, how long’s it been since you had figs on your pizza? Well, that’s just too long.
The Wedge could easily be described as “upscale” pizza, but not because of outrageous prices (though if you’re looking for cheap eats, look elsewhere), but because of outrageous quality and innovation.
The wife and I lunched here recently and found favorites all over the menu. For the appetizer, we tried the Anti-Pasto platter. This could have been a meal by itself for $9, with marinated seasonal vegetables (ours had eggplant, locally grown squash, sweet peppers, Sungold cherry tomatoes and beets) plus cheese, German potato salad and two slices of spicy Capicola ham. The flavors, other the peppers and the sharp blue cheese, were subtle. It isn’t for everyone, but as a lover of fresh, local produce, I recommend it.
Also good is the Wedge Trio, which is a plate of their Italian flatbread served with olive tapenade, roasted red pepper hummus and marinated artichoke hearts. At $8, it’s enough to split with four or five people.
We each had a salad (all are $6) and were mostly delighted. She had the marinated mozzarella salad, which came with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and arugula. I stole a few bites and was pleased, though I wish the cheese had a little more flavor.
One bit of flavor she didn’t want was a tiny bug that she spied. Before she could catch it, it darted deeper into the salad. Needless to say, the salad was replaced. And I can honestly forgive the bug, since I know they were using local, pesticide-free, organic arugula. The man in me says, “Aw, heck, it’s just extra protein.” The reviewer, however, is glad they were quick to replace the salad with a bug-free version.
My salad had fresh spinach with pears, toasted walnuts and a dijon-balsamic vinaigrette. That dressing (which you can buy by the pint for $8) was amazing. The pears were crisp and crunchy and the walnuts were rich. I’m not usually a fan of fruit in my salad, but this was just a well put together production.
The main attraction, of course, is the pizza and the selection at the Wedge is pretty stout. There’s the normal “build your own” section, though with a few oddities for your choosing including capers, prosciutto, pancetta, goat cheese, figs, pears, etc. But the specialty pizzas really surprised me. It’s rare I find specialties that are so … special.
We tried the Truffle Shuffle ($15) with roasted chicken, truffle oil, sage, spinach and crimini mushrooms. I could have eaten it all day long. The flavors were well-balanced and delightful. This was certainly more than the sum of its parts, though I’ll admit, I was a bit let down with the crust. The Wedge brick-fires all their pizzas, but the oil and ingredients rendered the usually tender crust a bit flimsy. But as knife-and-fork pizza goes, the taste is out of this world.
I also had a slice of the Prosciutto E Formaggi ($14) which is covered in prosciutto, arugula and figs. It’s an odd taste, but not a bad one. The figs aren’t overly sweet. They are complimented with the salty meat and the lightly bitter arugula.
A word of warning — if you get anything with arugula, get it in the summer. I was disappointed in the winter with the arugula, which was harsh and bitter. Manager Elena Farrar told me she begs their local provider, who grows the stuff in El Reno, to find a way to produce it year-round, because the quality drops off when they get it elsewhere.
For those of you who might end up at The Wedge, but would like something a little less experimental, I recommend the American Pie. It comes topped with marinara sauce, fresh meatballs and onions. My wife is also a big fan of The Vedge. All vegetarians take note — this is your dish. Garlic, red bell peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, pine nuts and ricotta make this a favorite.
If you skip appetizers and salads, one pizza is probably big enough for two people. I suggest you go with friends, try a couple of different pies and maybe split an appetizer. It’s not cheap, but you’re not getting cheap food, either.
Let us know what you think in the comments.