The last thing Pizzeria Bianco needs is another glowing recommendation, but here I am. I wish I could tell you that Pizzeria Bianco was overrated and not worth the visit, and if these were the days when there was only one location and it didn’t open until 5:00 pm with lines around the corner and a wait that numbered in the multiples of hours… I might have a different opinion, especially with so many other great pizza joints available now in the valley. But, happily, the times are different now.
Pizzeria Bianco has expanded to three locations – beyond the downtown location they also have a location at the Town & Country shopping center (at 20th Street & Camelback Road), and a third location in Tucson. In addition to the restaurant’s expansion, they’ve also expanded their hours. This means that I can go for lunch or an early dinner and not have to worry about encountering any wait at all, especially at the Town & Country location.
Today’s review regards the Town & Country location.
While the inside of the restaurant is on the small side, it also has a small outdoor patio with additional tables. The exterior walls are practically lined with windows, which help to make the tiny dining room feel welcoming and spacious.
Bianco serves fresh, seasonal Italian food and, while you can order a pasta, to say that they are extremely well-known for their pizzas would be an understatement. Regardless of what you order, your meal will start with delicious fresh bread alongside rich, buttery olive oil. I recommend an order of the spiedini ($10) which includes two skewers of salty prosciutto wrapped around warm melty fontina atop a bed of fresh arugula.
Don’t be afraid of the Rosa pizza ($15) – a sauceless pizza topped with red onion, parmesan, rosemary, and Arizona-grown pistachios. The cheese is rich and nutty, with a great crunch from the pistachios, the assertive flavor of the red onions is tamed by the pizza oven leaving a hint of sweetness a textural crunch behind, while the herby rosemary brightens the whole dish.
Another great choice is the Biancoverde ($18) – another sauceless pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, nutty parmesan, creamy ricotta, and peppery arugula. This pizza really lets the crust do the talking, which is great because it has a lot to say. The exterior is perfectly crisp and blistered with a chewy, bubbly center and great flavor. It’s everything pizza crust has ever dreamed it could be and more.
The Sonny Boy ($18) comes with Bianco’s fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, salty salami, and briny gaeta olives, which my loving husband kindly left off of half the pizza as I have never been an olive fan.
All in all, this is definitely going to be some of the best pizza that you’ve had. The James Beard judges knew what they were doing when they named Chris Bianco “Best Chef: Southwest” in 2003. Whether you live in the valley or are just here visiting, definitely make sure to put Pizzeria Bianco on your list. The pizza at Pizzeria Bianco is everything pizza always dreamed it could be.
Town & Country Location: 4743 N 20th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016 – Phone: 602 368 3273
Downtown: 623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 – Phone: 602 258 8300
- Good for: Anything and everything
- Reservations: No – They don’t take reservations so if you have a larger party or go at a popular time expect to wait
- Dress: Casual
- Parking: Lot (Town & Country location)
- Price Range: $$ – $13 to $21
- Service: 5 out of 5
- Food: 5 out of 5