A friend and I recently had dinner at Hot Italian prior to attending a show at B Street Theatre at The Sofia. My friend suggested Hot Italian as she had not been there previously. I had lunch there some years ago – and I was game even though my recollection was that I had not particularly cared for the pizza.
Parking in the area can be a bit of a problem. We were starting to discuss Plan B (where to go next) when we found a parking space not too far from the restaurant. Luckily my friend is a pro when it comes to parallel-parking and squeezing into a smallish space.
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Hot Italian is a casual, modern eatery. Upon entering we were invited to take a seat and told that a server would be with us shortly. I had forgotten that Hot Italian has open seating – i.e. seat yourself wherever seating is available. The restaurant was busy – so we zeroed in on a table with two people on one end – and took the seats at the opposite end.
It was not long before our waiter approached to bring us menus, napkins and silverware. We looked over the menu and decided to share a salad and pizza.
To accompany our meal we each decided to order a glass of wine. My friend ordered a glass of the Byron Chardonnay ($9.50). I was in the mood for red wine so I ordered the Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti ($8). When we ordered a second round my friend switched to red – the Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti.
We decided to order the Belinelli Salad (chopped romaine, cherry tomatoes, provolone, salami, castelvetrano olives, garbanzo beans, red onion, Treviso radicchio, grana padano cheese) ($13).
It took us a bit longer to decide on the pizza as there were so many variations to choose from. We finally agreed on the Bortolami Pizza (mushrooms, fennel sausage, scamorza cheese, Treviso radicchio, tomato sauce, mozzarella) ($16). My friend asked that pine nuts ($2.50) be added to the pizza.
Before long our attentive waiter delivered our Belinelli Salad. I neglected to take a picture of the salad before we each helped ourselves so the full effect was lost. The portion was generous, and we each had a second helping of salad after our pizza was served. I enjoyed the salad. The ingredients meshed nicely and the salad was lightly dressed. My friend, on the other hand, thought the salad was a bit dry due to insufficient dressing.
Hot Italian pizza is (very) thin crust pizza. The pizza toppings are obviously high quality, and they are applied with a light touch so that the toppings do not overwhelm the thin crust. We both really enjoyed the combination of mushrooms and fennel sausage on the Bortolami Pizza.
The pine nuts had not been added to the pizza as requested, but our waiter made sure that the charge was taken off our bill.
I am glad that my friend suggested Hot Italian for dinner that evening. My perception of Hot Italian pizza has changed for the better – and I will certainly not hesitate to return in the future.
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What has been your experience at Hot Italian?
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