December 31, 2006

Pizzeria Picco [Larkspur]

Upon a second visit, I would relegate Pizzeria Picco to second place, next to Dopo. Although its pizzas are good, they often feel imbalanced in flavor and in order to satisfy the entire palette, I find that you often have to order multiple pizzas. The salads are still top notch, though. Picco's crusts are blistery thin and toppings are ample and diverse. The salads are top notch and the Straus Diary soft-serve is to die for. However, like most pizzerias, Picco is tiny, with about six tables outside that seat four and a bar for no more than 12 inside.

I enjoyed our Caesar ($8.25) for its lighter dressing, which was a refreshing addition to the wind on my skin as we enjoyed the weather on Picco's patio. My only criticism was that I couldn't taste the anchovies, which would have added a layer of complexity to the salad and given it more depth. Our romaine was damn crisp and I enjoyed the "torn croutons," which gave me the impression that they were homemade with extra care.

Although there were only two of us, my friend decided that he was hungry enough to order two pizzas. The Trek ($14.50), my choice, came out first and seemed to be a popular selection amongst the other diners on the patio. The artichokes and mushrooms gave the pizza more texture, but the flavor of the tomato sauce was what really shined through. The mozarella was least represented, but not missed. And yes, the ham was darn good.

They have replaced the Trek and are now offering a similar pizza minus the artichokes. I'm also a fan of the Marin, a white pizza that has a very mild smoothness to it.

I was wary of the New Cannondale ($12.95) given my poor experiences with non-sauced pizzas and recent belief that pizzas were better with less meat. It's not that I've completely turned myself off to the idea of a sauceless pizza, I just find that without sauce, the flavor of pizza tends to fall flat. The flavors in the meat and cheese end up getting lost when there isn't a backdrop flavor, which lends a contrast and brings out the distinctness in the ingredients. The cannondale, a white pizza, drew from the sweetness of its onions and red peppers to highlight the subtle spiciness in the sausage. It was also very good.

Picco's pizza crusts manage to hold their own a lot better than most pizzerias you'll find in the Bay Area. While I'm a fan of the thin crust, I am not fond of having no choice but to eat my pizza with a fork and knife.

Litespeed Pizza

We boxed our pizza in order to save room for dessert. I remember having an amazing olive oil whipped cream at Oliveto and decided that my new dessert indulgence would be salty-sweet confections. First off, you can never go wrong with soft serve and after you try the olive oil and sea salt combination with Straus Dairy soft-serve ($3.50), you'll learn that you can't go wrong that either.

Pizzeria Picco
320 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 945-8900

1 comment:

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