A Taste of Urban Pizza Co. in Santa Rosa
How can Santa Rosa's newest pizza joint, Urban Pizza Co., boast a history spanning more than 40 years? It can when the owner is Dennis Milano, whose career includes 34 years alone at the famed Milano Pizzeria in San Francisco. Here his art revolves – literally – around hand spun dough for pizzas and piadina, for crust and bread that's thin but with very good chew.
The look: Spanning just 650 square feet, the place is popular for takeout and delivery, though there are a few cheerfully painted red tables for folks who can't wait to dive in to the delectable smelling food.
The most difficult choice: figuring out much pizza you can consume. Pies come in 12-, 14- or 18-inch. And joy: you can also select by-the-slice from a wide variety in the display case – your pick will be heated to order in the oven.
To eat: The best seller is the Urban Combo, of salami, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, bell pepper, mozzarella and red sauce ($19.25/$25.25/$29). But with ten different pie combos plus an elaborate build-your-own list, you're sure to find something mouthwatering. Toppings are inventive, too, such as artichoke hearts, jalapenos, roasted eggplant and feta.
Some pies go global, like the True Greek of feta, tomato, cucumber, black olive, bell pepper, onion, oregano, mozzarella and red sauce ($19.25/$25.25/$29). I also like the slightly spicy Thai One On, a flavor blast of chicken breast, carrots, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, carrots, garlic, mozzarella, peanut sauce and sweet chile sauce ($18/$23.50/$27).
Whatever you order, these pies are terrific, in old school style with generous toppings to put you in a happy food coma.
Piadina aren't common in Sonoma County, but they should be, if they could all be as good as these models. The light, Italian flatbread sandwiches come stuffed with goodies like salty prosciutto, mozz, pesto, tomatoes and shredded cabbage in tangy vinaigrette ($9.50).
Big salads go fancy, meanwhile, in tosses like arugula, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, Parmesan and zingy apple cider vinaigrette ($9.50).
To note: Pizzas might seem pricey, but they are loaded, and easily make multiple meals. Two slices satisfied some voracious eaters in my party.
Dessert: Ask for a side of roasted carrots with tzatziki ($6.95). They're sweet and satisfying.
To drink: Sodas ($1.25), of course, but also a lengthy selection of exotic flavored Guayaki Yerba Mate teas ($2.25-$2.95).
Details: 500 Mission Blvd, Santa Rosa, 707-978-4668.