Mon, July 15

Pisa Lisa, decadent pizza, and ...

By Jeff and Suzie Dunn

The Dunnery

Pisa Lisa, Lisa Dahl's creation of a dine in/take out gourmet food emporium offers simply delicious food in what Suzie calls a "New York/Chicago neighborhood atmosphere."

A little bit crazy, but organized crazy on second day of opening, we dined-in with friends, Eloise and Rick Baldauf. Scott found us a table, handed us a menu, explained the chalk board listings, and described several of the pizzas.

Because it was opening week and there was a crowd, we felt the need to order quickly. The Baldaufs selected Da Dorothy pizza (named for Lisa's mother) and we chose Da Herbie (you guessed it, named for Lisa's dad).

Both had the same sauce, provolone-mozzarella, Calabrese sausage, peppers and parmesan-reggiano. Herbie's just had more of everything.

We both claimed the wood- fired 12-inch medium thick crust pizzas flavorful and delicious. Along with our pizzas, the Baldaufs purchased a tasty dish of olives that included some fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes. They drank beer and we shared a carafe of Pinot Noir .

The concept of securing seating, ordering and paying at the deli counter and returning to our seats is a new concept. Being at the counter, it did allow us to visualize several of Lisa's popular salads, such as butter beans vinaigrette, tabouli, lemon hummus and Orecciette pasta.

If not for take-out, patrons may enjoy some of these while their pizza is being made. Also in those cases are beautiful dessert pastries, and behind are found the gelato and sorbetto.

The following week we returned for a dine-in lunch. Starting with gazpacho, we shared an " Italian Stallion" grilled panini (prosciutto gold, mozzzrella fresca, special peppers and rucola (related to watercress and radishes -- known aphrodisiac!).

Both soup and sandwich were outstanding. Table servers brought welcome glasses of water and iced tea. Lisa, upon request, came out for a picture and was carrying a beautiful Caesar salad, made with organic hydroponic lettuce specifically grown for her from Justin's Garden in Camp Verde. Guests from the East Coast were wowed.

People who are familiar with The Elixir of Life, Lisa's cookbook, know the recipes are "do-able", taste great, and are the foundation of all the food prepared in her restaurants. Many of the ingredients are for sale in the entrance cubby to Pisa Lisa, thus the descriptor, "food emporium" or marketplace.

Many thanks to the Lisa and her staff and patrons for spending time with us during the busy opening.

Bites and Sips:

(For Dine In Dine Out)

As a follow up to our article on Anne Uruburo and RAW ...

The Si Birch Community Room at SPL has been reserved on Friday, July 26, from noon to 1 p.m. for the following program sponsored by the SPL in the Village Committee:

"RAW Food Recipes Demonstration" by Anne Uruburu (includes recipe handouts, demo sampling, library RAW Cookbook Reading List, and CD of recipes available for a $10 donation)

To Your Health and Happiness, Jeff and Suzie at The Dunnery