Monday, May 7, 2007

Sunday in Kingston with Pizza

Yesterday we took advantage of the gorgeous weather to follow through on something we’d been planning since it started to get spring-like: dinner in Kingston at Wooden Heads. I made that thin-crust pizza a couple of weeks ago and, while it was tasty, it didn’t quite match up to the deliciousness that is Wooden Heads’ chewy crust and gorgeously fresh, creative toppings. My sister and her fiancé had visited the restaurant last year and we got to talking about it a while back, and decided we needed a foodie road trip. So when the weekend’s weather decided to cooperate, off we went.

We didn’t leave Ottawa until 1 p.m., having decided to sleep in and relax (it WAS Sunday, after all) but we did have time to browse around a few of Princess Street’s funky stores before strolling through the last vestiges of the Sunday Antiques Market behind City Hall, then wandering down to the waterfront, only to be molested by gnats and mosquitoes also out enjoying the spring sunshine. Into the restaurant we retreated, where we were given a lovely table in the corner by the front windows and proceeded to dither over which pizzas to order for approximately an hour. (Well, it felt that long, anyway.)

I usually do a build-your-own experience, but it’s hard to choose from such a long list of delectable ingredients, and I always end up overloading my pie, so I went with the wisdom of the chefs and opted for one of their creations, the Nordico. I’ve never been so glad to be dictated to by The Man. Atop my perfectly charred, crisp-yet-chewy crust was a slathering of pomodoro sauce, a generous scattering of sliced cooked sweet onions and strips of brilliant roasted red peppers, a sprinkling of shredded smoked chicken, and plenty of perfectly melty fontina cheese. The combination of smoky and sweet was utterly mouthwatering and after one bite I was hooked. Eating the whole thing was no hardship. The glass of Nero D’Avola I had with it was a beautiful match.

Chris reprised his selection from the last visit, the Marco Polo, with tomato sauce, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, and lemon chicken. He didn’t share, which I assume means it was good, again. My sister had the same thing as her last visit as well, the Nonna Mela (apple butter, roast garlic, cheddar, sweet onions, blackened chicken) to which she added tomato sauce. I tried a bite, not really expecting to like it, and was very pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I could have eaten an entire pizza’s worth of it, but it was very tasty indeed. Her fiancé D. ordered the Loco, with chipotle salsa, old cheddar, smoked chicken, and balsamic grilled red onion. I tried that one as well – a big winner, something I could easily order and enjoy quite a lot. The chipotle kicks in at the end of the chewing process, and isn’t too overwhelming, adding a nice little bite.

Chris and I split dessert - the now-legendary chocolate and strawberry “lasagna” with layers of glazed phyllo, sliced fresh berries, and dollops of rich chocolate mousse. I’ve actually eaten one of those by myself before, but I have no idea how – half was almost too much for me. Delicious, though, with a great cup of decaf coffee.

Sated, we waddled back to the car and drove home under a beautiful clear starry sky, 90s dance music blaring on the stereo and memories of pizza fresh in our minds. The verdict: two hours is definitely not too far to drive for a dinner so delightful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make me wish I lived in Canada. More so, that is.