It had been a while since I got a chance to dine with Eric from “Eric Eats Out,” another Valley food blog. We had done a joint review of Havana Cafe back in 2009 and J. and I ran into him and his wife and family at the Chompie’s in Paradise Valley Mall, but other than through Twitter or email, we hadn’t had a chance to get together for a meal. We finally got a chance and ended up at Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana at the Borgata in Scottsdale.
Eric had good things to say about the place and Pomo had been certified as serving authentic Neapolitan style pizza from Verace Pizza Napoletana Americas. So, we met at the entrance to Pomo and were immediately escorted to a table/booth combination and handed menus.
The interior was spacious, open and subdued with black and wood tones throughout and lots of indirect lighting. The noise level was a bit on the high side, but nothing that was crushing to our conversation.
Eric was hankering for one of the Paninis on the menu, but was told they only serve them at lunch. Eric was heartbroken, but he took it in stride and decided to have a pizza. After reviewing the menu for a bit, we had made our decisions. When the server arrived, she was very engaging and we could tell she really was very keen on the food that Pomo creates. She took our drink order. I had a Diet Coke ($2.50) while Eric had an Iced Tea ($2.50) and a glass of Chianti ($9.00).
Moments later, our drinks arrived and we were ready to order dinner. Eric and I decided to split the Romana Salad ($8.95), the House version of a Caesar salad. Eric went with the Don Alfonso Pizza ($14.95) and I went with the Parma Pizza ($16.95).
We didn’t wait very long before our salad arrived. It was a sizable portion for two and it looked great with all of the shaved cheese sitting on top of the greens. We each took a couple of spoonfuls for our plates and dove in. We both immediately declared that this salad was boring. The taste was completely subdued on all counts. While the greens were crisp, they lacked any flavor and the dressing was so mild I doubt even doubling the amount would have changed anything. The menu listed the ingredients as Romaine Lettuce, Home Made Croutons, Parmigiano Reggiano, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt but I was trying to find the seasoning on this salad. Even the cheese was one dimensional. Eric said it was mundane and I was particularly disappointed because a Caesar Salad – even in a House version – should have a bit of a tang to it and some sharp flavors. This just underwhelmed and I was hoping this didn’t indicate how the pizzas were going to be.
Although we both gave the salad a big “meh,” we were very pleased when our pizzas arrived. Eric’s Don Alphonso Pizza looked delicious with its slightly charred crust, silky white mozzarella, and slices of salami and Italian sausage. The bits of roasted red pepper also sparkled on the pie. Eric dove in with a knife and fork and offered me a small slice. He said he found the crust to be nicely chewy as well as having a great flavor. He said the toppings “tasted of quality” and said there was nothing second rate about his pizza on any level. I agreed with his assessment. The pizza was fabulous. It was salty, savory and the roasted peppers added just enough sweetness to balance out the flavors. It was stellar in every way.
My Parma Pizza was very attractive. A large pie with a blistering crust was cover in a thin layer of tomato sauce, slices of mozzarella cheese, Prosciutto, plenty of Arugula, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. It was a feast fit for a king. I also headed for the knife and fork and attacked my pizza. It was fantastic. The crust was spot on and the ingredients were substantial and delicious. The arugula was very fresh and crisp and added a wonderful peppery dimension. I was very pleased that they didn’t skimp on the toppings. There was plenty of Prosciutto and cheese. I offered Eric a slice, but he declined saying he had had the Parma before and enjoyed it. I had a great time savoring this pizza and would have it again with out a doubt.
As we finished our meals, Eric ordered the Regina Margherita Pizza ($11.95) for his wife who was at home tending to some sick kiddies. So, we chatted while we waited for the bill and the pizza to go. Once both arrived, the total was $72.78 including tax which covered two drinks, a glass of wine, a large salad and three pizzas. It was well worth the cost as the quality was top notch. The service was excellent as well. It was nice to see a server excited about the food and I can see why, although they do need to work on the Romana Salad.
Of course, I know a lot of people will immediately ask how Pomo compares to Pizzeria Bianco. To be honest, I can’t make that comparison as I haven’t been to Bianco’s in over two years. However, I can unequivocally state that I would go back to Pomo for pizza in a flash. The pies are superb and the numerous options for pizza will allow me lots of return visits without getting bored.
All in all, this was a great pizza, a solid meal, and a great time with Eric.
Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana
6166 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Dress: Scottsdale Casual. Botox optional.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday – 11 AM to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday – 11 AM to 10 PM
Notes: Online reservations available (and advisable).
Alcohol: Full bar with an extensive wine list.