20. Apizza Scholls
> Location: Portland, Oregon
“Apizza” is the Italian-American dialect word for pizza often used in Connecticut, but the concept translates neatly to the West Coast here. All pies are 18 inches in diameter and, says the restaurant, “baked on the darker side.” Among the unusual house pizzas is the Diablo Bianco, with ricotta, roasted tomato and pumpkin seed pesto, fresh jalapeños, black pepper, and herbs. Apart from a few basics like garlic, anchovies, and basil, “build your own” pies are limited to a maximum of three ingredients, only two of which can be meat.
19.Monzú Italian Oven + Bar
> Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
It all begins with the dough at this industrial-look Italian restaurant and pizzeria. Chef-owner Giovanni Mauro makes his (for both pizza crust and house-made breads) with a starter made with local apricots and a mother starter from the Italian island of Ischia that’s said to be more than three centuries old. Pies are shaped somewhere between a rectangle and an ellipse and come in two sizes — small and family. The Pork Reigns pizza combines braised pork, house-made sausage, applewood-smoked bacon, prosciutto cotto, salame calabrese, and guanciale. The dough starter is echoed by the Apricot, with apricot jam, bacon, Laura Chenel goat cheese, pine nuts, and arugula.
18. Pizzeria Vittoria
> Location: Savannah, Georgia
At this lively indoor-outdoor restaurant, chef Kyle Jacovino — a veteran of the kitchens at several restaurants owned by star Southern chef Hugh Acheson — makes thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizzas in a handful of variations. These include a traditional Margherita, a Siciliana (capers, olives, anchovies, lemon sauce, and mozzarella), and an ever-changing Farmers Market Pie, made (says the menu) with “veggies & protein sourced from our farmers weekly.”
17. Pizzeria Lui
> Location: Lakewood, Colorado
“All pizzas are cooked at 900 degrees and come slightly charred,” promises this rustic Denver-area roadside pizzeria. The pies are one size only (14 inches in diameter) and come in both red and white variations. The Margherita is classic. Less so the seasonal Peach Pit (fresh peaches, crispy prosciutto, mozzarella, ricotta, pistachios, arugula, and spicy honey) and the Street Taco (homemade chorizo, tomatillo salsa, mozzarella, red onion, cotija cheese, corn, and cilantro).
16. Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza
> Location: Elizabeth, New Jersey
This 103-year-old pizza institution, still owned by the founding family, bakes pizzas to order in coal-fired brick ovens: Patrons can request their crust soft, light golden, golden, dark golden, or brown/black. Besides red sauce and cheese, some 24 toppings are available. The fun thing to do, though, is to order one of their 10 vintage-dated pies, made according to whatever the fashion was at various points in the past. The 1940 Genuine Tomato Pie, for instance, is just sauce, no cheese or other toppings. The 1957 is extra thin. The 1964 is garnished with extra-virgin olive oil and parmesan.