Great restaurateurs across the country, and here in Kansas City, have begun returning to the old country. Instead of opening restaurants serving Chinese-American or Italian-American food, they are serving authentic ethnic cuisine.
Take, for example, pizza. The American pizza can be best described as thick crust. And can also be found in other variations such as deep dish, cheese stuffed crust, etc.
But if you want authentic Italian pizza, be prepared to taste something much different than the American version. If you were to travel to Italy, you would find a crust that is much thinner and crispier. And the tomato sauce is less sweet than its American counterpart. And some versions may have a white sauce or no sauce at all.
If the current economy has put a dent in your plans to travel to Rome, there are local restaurants preparing authentic Italian pizza, baked in a wood burning stone oven. PizzaBella, in the Crossroads Arts district, not only prepares pizza traditionally but additionally puts their own twist on several other dishes.
The antipasta section of the menu begins with a pair of fresh salads tossed with vinaigrettes. And there are also some traditional antipasta choices such as a cured meat platter and a cheese plate. If you are seeking something different, try the roasted Brussels sprouts. They are tossed with almonds and dried cranberries, roasted, and dressed with pancetta vinaigrette. There’s a delicate dance between the tart berries, crunchy almonds and the tender but slightly charred sprouts. Most people don’t like Brussels sprouts because their first taste was a bad one. If they are overcooked, they lose their vibrant green color and also release a sulphuric odor.
Marinara and margherita pizzas are common in Italy but Pizzabella also has an excellent eggplant pizza as well. Thin slices of eggplant rest atop a red sauce along with olives, red onion and goat cheese. There’s also a flavorful pizza topped with bits of chorizo, slivers of roasted red peppers and ricotta cheese. The flavors of the toppings are more pronounced with the thinner crust. PizzaBella makes their own dough and it bakes well in those 700° ovens.
To end the meal, patrons can choose from gelato or go for the tiramisu. The coffee-soaked savioardi, also known as sponge cake or lady fingers, are surrounded by sweet, creamy and light mascarpone cheese. And the dusting of cocoa powder adds the perfect little hit of chocolate with the coffee.
Since the euro is not what it used to be, visit PizzaBella and just imagine you are dining in a sophisticated Italian café. Or, order a pie for take out and enjoy it while watching Roman Holiday or Cinema Paradiso on DVD.
1810 Baltimore Ave
Kansas City, MO 64105
Monday – Friday 11 am – close
Saturday 12 pm – close
Sunday 4 pm – close
Full bar available
Price range for average meal per person: $20-30 (without liquor)