Posted By: Willie on January 18th, 2010
On a recent trip home to visit my parents, I had the pleasure of eating at an upscale, modern Italian restarant, Isabella’s in Lynchburg, Virginia (If you’re a minority, don’t be put off by the name of the city. It’s named after a person, not a verb.).
Before I even got to the wine list, I looked down and realized that one of the nightly specials was an small pizza served as an appetizer.
Immediately my inner critic kicked it in and a text was sent out to the pizza expert, “We got one.” Very Ghostbusters-esqe. Back to the pizza – eight small, rectangular slices topped with imported prosciutto and mozzarella, covered with arugula that was spritzed with a light olive oil/lemon mixture, and black fig jam on the side.
All the bases were covered. The crust was thin and crispy, as would be expected from a restaurant boasting a brick oven, and the cheese was fresh and flavorful. The unique mixture of ingredients was pleasing in every way – the black fig jam was dark, rich, and contained the sweet edge needed to balance out the salty prosciutto and the bitterness of the arugula. Karma achieved. An amazing experience for the tastebuds.
If the experience ended here, I would have no problem awarding Isabella’s 7 out of 8 slices. But this isn’t FOX pizza, you get the whole story.
After setting the bar so high with an appetizer, one would think that the full size pizzas would be an equally incredible so I convinced a fellow dinner guest to order one. Wait for it…wait for it. There it is. Can you feel it? That’s my dissapointment.
I have a hard time believing that the second pizza came from the same kitchen, from the same chefs. The crust was undercooked and sagged more than the pool at Century Village <insert cymbal crash>. If that wasn’t bad enough, there was flour caked on the bottom around the outer edge of the pie. What’s that flavor? Oh, it’s flour. Gross. The toppings weren’t evenly distributed around the pizza, instead they seemed to have congregated in a party at the center of it. This made for an interesting experience since the journey of eating a slice would start off at the reasonably enjoyable center, but then degrade quickly as you got away from the toppings and closer to the ring of flour near the crust.
This pizza would have garnered 4 slices on its own, but luckily for Isabella’s this was a dual pie review. Using advanced mathematics, I came up with an average rating of 5.5 slices, but since the Lapp scale doesn’t account for halves and since the second pizza was larger, this number gets rounded down.
Isabella’s finishes with 5 out of 8 slices.