Pizano's | Near North | European, Italian | Restaurant
Pizza that's been called among the nation's best, from a member of the Malnati clan.

Our Review

The pizza at this River North joint was picked by USA Today as one of the nation's top, though locals might easily overlook the place as just another outpost of the Pizzerio Uno dynasty, where owner Rudy Malnati Jr.'s father and brother Lou got their starts. The coolest thing about the room is a bizarre mural that integrates Frank, Marilyn, and Elvis with Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Miller, and an unrecognizable sixth figure. (So this is where David Lynch gets his pizza.) Our appetizers were dire, the salad a mixture of white lettuce and pale tomatoes drenched in vinaigrette, the standard garlic bread late in coming after the first order burned. But then the pies arrived and all was forgiven. The dough is made by octagenarian Donna Marie Malnati, who reportedly devised a special recipe that would distinguish Rudy's pizzas from those of his brother. I couldn't tell the difference, but our deep-dish was much shallower than a Malnati's pie--when it came to the table, we thought it was the thin-crust--and the more balanced combination of butter crust, sausage, and tart crushed tomatoes made it less heavy while every bit as tasty.

J. R. Jones

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