Pizzeria Lauretano

Italian | Pizza
Memorable
One of the best
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** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED **

A gracious restaurant that also is a gallery for local artists and a Sunday-night venue for jazz musicians, Pizzeria Lauretano cooks its pies in a dome-top, wood-fired oven that proprietor Michael Lauretano obtained from Naples.

Good as the pizza that comes from this oven is, I rarely start a meal without tucking into a walnut cranberry salad. There is nothing particularly exotic about it – the walnut-cranberry combo has become commonplace on menus – but this salad is inspired. Its ingredients include crisp romaine and tender red lettuce, a few hoops of ultra-thin-sliced red onion, plenty of dried cranberries, and a generous spill of crumbled gorgonzola cheese. It is dressed with a little olive oil and enough lemon juice to make every bite citrus-bright. The dissimilar sweetness of the cranberries and onion are a fascinating duet, as is the richness of the cheese poised against the tang of lemon. And the one element that puts the whole package into the stratosphere is a scattering of meaty halved toasted walnuts. The depth of their earthy crunch is beguiling contrast to the way the fresh romaine breaks with slight tooth pressure. It all adds up to a fabulous medley of taste and texture … and fine prelude to one of Lauretano’s expertly-made brick-oven pizzas.

The single-size, single (large) serving pizzas are elegant and refined, and yet every bit as soulful as those from Connecticut’s funkier famous places. They are very thin-crusted, teetering seductively at the point between crunch and chew. The dough puffs up along the edge so there may be a few spots that taste (quite deliciously) of carbon; but the whole thing is insinuated with fire because just before the pizza is ready to be pulled off the oven’s floor, the pizzaiolo slides his peel underneath and holds it directly over the smoldering wood pile for a few moments, giving it a smoky perfume. I love the plain garlic pizza – a less-is-more gilded flatbread; heaven for crust-lovers – as well as the mighty sausage and broccoli rabe white pizza; there are tradition-minded margheritas and puttanescas as well as occasional specials that include a flank steak pizza with chimichurri sauce and a multi-vegetable garden pizza during the fall harvest.

What to Eat
Pizzeria Lauretano, Pizza Puttanesca
Pizza Puttanesca
Must-Try
Anchovies, capers, garlic, and olives give pizza puttanesca its pizzazz. Also atop the thin crust are fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce, grated cheese, and a spritz of olive oil. For all its funky flavors, this is a very civilized-tasting puttanesca.
Pizzeria Lauretano, Walnut Cranberry Salad
Walnut Cranberry Salad
Must-Try
Walnut cranberry salad is an elegant mix of greens, sweet dried cranberries, thin-sliced red onion, a spill of gorgonzola cheese, and earthy toasted walnuts. The dressing is bright and lemony.
Pizzeria Lauretano, Garlic Pizza
Garlic Pizza
Must-Try
Do you like crust? Do you like garlic? If you answer 'yes' to both questions, you need to have one of Lauretano's garlic pizzas. It's a crisp, puffy-edged flatbread gilded with oil, minced garlic, a sprinkle of herbs and a dash of grated cheese. Heaven!
Pizzeria Lauretano, Bread Sticks
Bread Sticks
Must-Try
Frequently the kitchen passes out little lagniappes to each table to accompany salad or to munch while you wait for your pizza to cook. These are thin breadsticks made with pizza dough. Other times, you'll get flattened dough cut into thin strips. Accompanying the excellent bread is a saucer of rosemary-sprinkled olive oil.
Pizzeria Lauretano, Garden Pizza
Garden Pizza
Must-Try
Garden pizza, an autumn harvest special, is strewn with fresh vegetables, a few teeny-weeny grapes, and leaves of succulent pancetta.
Pizzeria Lauretano, Panini
Panini
Must-Try
Panini, made on ciabatta bread and grilled until crusty, are available only at lunch. This one is grilled vegetables and goat cheese.
Pizza Margherita
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday5 pm - 9 pm
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday5 pm - 9 pm
Wednesday5 pm - 9 pm
Thursday5 pm - 9 pm
Friday5 pm - 9 pm
Saturday5 pm - 9 pm
Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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