Posted By: joefoodie on August 10th, 2009
Tivoli’s is in Utica, MI, or about 25 minutes outside of Detroit. The fundamental focus here is high quality pizza, salads, and sandwiches. Ingredients are fresh and nearly everything is made in house. I’ve eaten at Tivoli’s twice and both times I was impressed with not 0nly the food, but also the service & the care put into making sure I left happy.
The daily special is 2 slices & a fountain soda pop for $5. I’m not a fan of soda, so I asked to substitute a Limonata for whatever the additional charge would have been. Rather than charging me extra, the owner said not to worry about it and sent me on my way. It’s a small thing, yes, but it spoke volumes. The slice was delicious even after my 15 minute ride back to the office. Sure, it was pretty chewy, but the flavor was spot on. And given the delay in consumption, I had to go back to try a fresh one.
My second visit was dining in. This time around we had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful server, who had a great sense of humor and was very much in love with the food he was selling. We started off with a wonderful pan of cheesy breadsticks. Gooey, garlicky, and crunchy these were a perfect accompaniment to the antipasto salad and its tangy house made vinegarette. The real stars of the night were (of course) the pizzas. We ordered 2 of the “favorites” – Sfiziosa & Capricciosa.
Sfiziosa (mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, smoked ham grated parmigiana and raw arugola) was a flavor joyride. The crisp, slightly charred crust played perfectly with the spicy, sweet tomato sauce. The freshness of the tomatoes coupled with the smoky saltiness of the ham & the sharpness of the parmigiana tasted marvelous together. Topping it off was perfectly fresh rucola (arugala) adding more freshness along with the peppery bite & bitterness that arugala is known for. This was a wonderful pizza. Sure, there was a lot going on, but the ingredients harmonized well together.
Capriccosa (mozzarella cheese, smoked ham, artichoke hearts and hot dog slices) was, in my eyes, a novelty pizza. Traditional as it may be, the addition of the Italian hot dogs was a bit odd for me. Don’t get me wrong – this pizza tasted good, but artichokes with hot dogs is stretching it. However, the briny tartness of the artichokes does mingle well with the richness of the ham & hot dog. As with the other pizza, the crust was perfectly cooked & the sauce great as well.
Tivoli’s specializes in pizzas that are much different than the Sicilian/Detroit style pizzas that the we’re known for. This is a good thing, I think, as the heaviness of Sicilian style pizza can become cumbersome, so these lighter pizzas are a welcome change. I would definitely go back. Tivoli’s gets 5 out 8 slices.
We can be found on Twitter @worstpizza