The picture above is a picture of a pizza that I had ordered while I was studying abroad in Florence, May 2011. The group of girls that I usually hung out with were very lucky in the fact that a few of the girls lived with a girl who had been studying abroad in Italy since January. She knew of all the great eating spots around the city. She brought us to Gusta Pizza one night to try the best pizza in Florence! And that it was!!
Like I have mentioned in my previous post discussing Map Room pizza, It is very difficult to find an amazing pizza place, especially when you have tried the best from Italy (and of course Ohio University’s Courstide!). There are very few places that use the brick and stone ovens that leave that light charred taste, allowing the pizza crust to be the perfect thin and light texture. I think I finally found a place that does exactly that, and it’s not in Italy! It’s right here in Highland Heights, Ohio! The name of the place is Crostatas. A dietitian during my internship over the summer had mentioned the place to me, saying it reminded her of Italy and she knew I would love it as well!
I went on Saturday with my good friend Emily, who has also been to Italy. So, I knew she would appreciate the restaurant as much as I would. The place is very quaint. A lot smaller that I thought. You either have to get their early for dinner, or come for a later dinner. Emily and I came around 7:30 and didn’t have to wait at all. But there were a few who had to wait who came in after us. Check out the menu!
Emily and I each ordered an ‘insalata mista.’ I don’t know if it was because I was starving or not, but, the salad was amazing. The balsamic vinegar was thick and sweet. I wonder if they used and aged vinegar! There were also sliced strawberries on the salad, which matched perfectly with the balsamic. The salad was pretty large and we probably could have split!
We split the Margherita D.O.C pizza. This pizza use mozzarella di bufala, instead of regular mozzarella you typically find at the store. Buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of a water buffalo where as typical mozzarella is made from cow’s milk. And what is D.O.C, you ask? In Italian it stands for Denominazione di origine controllata. In English, this translates to “controlled designation of origin.” In italy it is used as a quality assurance of food products within a specific region, such as Tuscany, and includes products like wine and cheese.
Now back to the pizza. The first bite took me straight back to Italy. It had the same charred taste that I remember when devouring Gusta’s pizza in Florence. The crust was thin, light, and had a slight crunch. The sauce had the perfect amount of garlic and italian herbs. There were 4 large fresh basil leaves on top adding an extra punch of flavor. (I apologize for lack of pictures- but Crostatas website has many great pictures to drool over!!)
The restaurant was as some would say “in the middle of no where.” But it is not far from the mall (Beachwood Place!). If you live over on the east side of Cleveland, it is definitely worth the trip! Great for families, dates, and just a catch-up dinner with friends! (P.S. the desserts looked amazing!! I was too full to order any, but I will make a point to order something next time I go– and of course take pictures!!