It's all good at Pizzetta in Mystic
There seems to be no two people who eat a slice of pizza the exact same way.
There are the eager types who immediately pick off their favorite toppings and munch on them first. There are the wasteful types who eat up to the crust and stop.
There are the types who like to complicate things; they take their initial bites starting from the crust or going at it from the side.
Enterprising types use a variety of holding and folding methods to maximize each bite, while some go at a slice with a fork and knife to avoid the messiness.
But anyway you decide to eat your pizza at Pizzetta in Mystic, it's going to taste good.
The pizza is a thinner, New York-style crust, but not so thin as to lose its chewiness and rustic texture. There's a wide selection of toppings for custom order pizzas in a range of sizes and types.
A basic pie with chunky tomato sauce and mozzarella and Asiago cheeses comes in 12-inch form for $9.99 and 16-inch for $13.25. For an additional charge ($2 small; $3 large), you can choose an additional cheese, ranging from ricotta to feta to Gorgonzola to goat to cheddar.
A long list of veggies is an additional $1.50 for a small and $2 for a large. Meats are individually priced and include some impressive options: soupy sausage ($5 or $7), shaved steak ($4 or $5), Canadian bacon ($3 or $4), prosciutto (4$) or $6), sweet or hot sausage ($3 or $4), pepperoni ($3 or $4), and shrimp ($6 or $8).
There are also options for a gluten-free crust (12-inch only at $14.25) and a dairy-free cheese and gluten-free pizza (12-inch only at $14.25).
I personally prefer to go straight to the specialty pizza section and let the experts choose my toppings for me.
It's there you will find such gems as the BBQ chicken ($17, $22, and $22 for gluten free) with smoked pulled chicken, barbecue sauce, sweet onions, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, and Asiago cheese, an exquisite mix of sweet and savory; the meat lovers ($17, $22, $22) with classic sauce, pepperoni, bacon, hot sausage, mozzarella and Asiago cheeses; and prosciutto and arugula ($18, $23, $23) with roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and shaved Parmesan cheese.
On the vegetarian side, one option I like is the "Veggie Pesto" ($16, $20, $20) made with a delightful homemade pesto, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato, sliced garlic, and Asiago.
Among the most original and dynamic pies is the white shrimp Florentine ($19, $24, $24). It's sharp, distinct and dynamic, topped with shrimp, spinach, plum tomatoes, capers, red onion, fresh garlic, mozzarella and Asiago, finished off with a sprinkling of lemon juice. It's a must try, in my estimation.
Appetizers are stellar and go beyond the usual mozzarella sticks and chicken wings, although you can get those, too ($6.99 on mozzarella sticks; $6.99 and $12.99 for a six or 12-piece plate of wings).
Garlic bread ($6) comes in a visually pleasing spiral, reminiscent of a hypnotic circle, just made from chewy dough, garlic, and other savory fixings.
The hummus platter ($11.99) is delightful, coming with triangle cut pieces of Naan-style bread, sliced plum tomatoes, a clump of crumbled feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and pesto.
While I've explored less of the sandwich section of the menu, on my most recent visit, I went with the commendable Nona's eggplant Parmesan panini ($9.99) consisting oven-baked breaded eggplant, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and Mozzarella.
All paninis come served on focaccia or ciabatta bread baked a stone's throw away at the very excellent Sift Bakery.
The atmosphere at Pizzetta is a major part of the appeal. A wide-open patio in the back is the best option this time of year. A cavernous ground floor bar opens up through wide glass doors onto the patio, creating an outdoor appeal as well. In-door seating is equally comfortable.
There's a good sized lot directly adjacent to Pizzetta and specifically for its customers, a big plus this time of year. If you're staying longer to stroll around downtown Mystic, the pizza spot is also adjacent to the big Mystic lot.
While Pizzetta is certainly bustling this time of year, parties move in and out relatively quickly. When I went on a busy weekend lunch hour, I had no wait. No other group seemed to be waiting for more than five minutes.
So, whatever way you eat your pizza, fresh ingredients on a chewy, rustic crust, enjoyed in an a relaxing outdoor environment can't be beat this time of year.
If you go
7 Water St., Mystic
Food type: Pizza, salads, paninis
Service: Friendly, quick and accommodating
Price: Inexpensive to moderate
Hours: Dining: Everyday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Bar: Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
Handicapped access: Back patio and ground floor dining at sidewalk level; front door and upstairs dining not accessible.
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