Monday, December 1, 2008

Pazani Trattoria in Elkridge

The great pizza tour rolled through Elkridge, and Pazani lived up to all the hype with pizza that certainly makes it worth the drive.

Pazani offers my favorite kind of pizza -- a crisp, greaseless crust with delicious, but light toppings. The toppings are exceptional, and the crust is strong enough to fold in half around the warm cheese and goodies.

On my last visit, Mrs. HowChow and I split a pie that was half pepperonata (sausage, peppers, onion) and half capricciosa (mushrooms, artichokes, olives, and peppers). These are flavorful cheeses, salty olives, sweet sausage in chunks. Vegetables that tasted like someone sliced in the kitchen and sauteed here, not like anything canned or delivered by an 18-wheeler. But my current favorite is still the spinach-chicken white pizza that I had for lunch one day on the way to BWI -- a slice heated through in the oven and tasting better than most pizza served fresh.

Pazani pulls off a very unusual design. There are no waiters. You order at the counter, fill your own soda, and then wait at your table for the food to be delivered. But it's a classy place, and the modern design and the friendly handwritten menu makes it feel a step above most local pizza restaurants. The kitchen aims a step higher too with good house salads (order the dressing on the side), a dozen entrees, and specials like a stuffed pasta that almost convinced me to skip pizza last time. I want the Pizza Fresca that just opened in Maple Lawn to be this good because it's so much more convenient for me. But Pazani is worth the drive any night that I have time.

Of course, Pazani is a true HoCo restaurant in that it would be almost impossible to run across. I lived a half mile away, and I had to start a food blog before anyone recommended Pazani to me. It is actually quite convenient off Rte 100 or Rte 103.

(Update: Pizza Blogger likes Pazani.  Check out his post here.)

Do you have a favorite pizza? I am still looking for the best places, but click here to read and post about pizza in Howard County. Definitely consider Trattoria E Pizzeria Da Enrico or Luna Bella Ristorante -- both in Columbia. The first is a super-casual joint, and the second is a real restaurant with tablecloths and pies heaped up with toppings.

Pazani Trattoria Italiana
6060 Marshalee Drive
Elkridge, MD 21075

NEAR: This is near the hotel under construction off Rte 100 west of I-95. To get there, exit from Rte 100 onto Rte 103 North. Turn right at the light for Marshalee Drive and look for the shopping center on the right. Pazani is in the section past the Giant. This is the same development as the new hotel that overlooks Rte 100.

Pazani Trattoria Italiana on Urbanspoon


dzoey said...

I first heard about this place when a poster on Chowhound mentioned that her husband owns the restaurant. I tried it a couple of months ago and found the pizza to be quite decent - on the level of the pizza place at Dorsey Hall (Trattoria something) or Chef Paolino's

JNU3 said...

I love Pazani's pizza (and calzones) too! Luckily, they're just a few minutes away from me. My favorite so far was a slice of the Italian Flag pizza. It was a white pizza with sliced tomatoes, garlic, broccoli, and cheese. I tried the pasta once and really liked the gnocchi, but I'll probably stick to pizza here.

Pasta Blitz has a similar set up and I prefer their pasta dishes so I'll stick with them for pasta and Pazani for pizza. The Pasta Blitz we like is at Snowden and 108 next to Eggspectations.

Pizza Blogger said...

The Pazani website mentions the dough is made from "scratch" daily. Does anyone know how long the dough is allowed to rise before being fired and if a wild yeast starter is used?

Will have to go here soon!

eroars said...

based on your blog my friend and I decided to check it out one sunday afternoon! We loved it! your review was right on and can't wait to go back. Also tried Coal Fire, very good too. Great picks!

wondergirl said...

My husband and I love the pizza at Pazani. We stopped in today to grab a couple of slices and discovered that they'd set up a gelato cart. They have gelato occasionally, but usually only 1 or 2 selections. Today they were offering Nocciola (hazelnut), chocolate hazelnut, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, banana (and one other flavor that I can't remember). We had hazelnut and it was delicious (definitely rivaled the gelato we had in Italy!).