This town has seen its fair share of pizzas over the years, but none quite like what Jim Zimmerman is offering at Pizzino (7600 Wydown Boulevard; 314-240-5134). The fast-casual restaurant opened this past December in Clayton and specializes in two different kinds of savory, Italian-inspired pies: a focaccia-style, by-the-slice option as well as a grilled variety served on a thin, cracker-style crust.
"My wife grew up in Italy, so we've been fortunate to spend many of our summers visiting there. The approach they take to keeping ingredients simple, but bringing in lots of flavor became a passion for me," says Zimmerman, a native St. Louisan who spent the majority of his hospitality career working for a family-owned food distributor before taking to the kitchen to perfect his own recipes.
"The pizza al taglio is baked on focaccia-style crust made in house using our own formulas. It's a thicker-style pizza," he says. "The other pizza we make is produced by sheeting dough very thin and putting it on a hot grill for 70 to 80 seconds. That grilling process partially bakes and crosshatches the shell, which is used to build an individually-sized pizza to order."
For toppings, patrons can choose from a variety of preset combinations including imported cheeses, house-roasted veggies and more. The "Hermitage" ($6) pizza al taglio, for instance, comes topped with San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, parmesan regianato, spicy calabrese salami, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil.
From the grilled pizza menu, customize your own toppings or select from options including the "Augustus" ($8.50) with arugula pesto, fontina and pecorino, spicy roasted tomatoes, rendered Italian sausage, goat cheese and basil.
Pizzino also offers two types of panini on its house-baked focaccia as well as Caesar and house salads. Urban Chestnut beer is available on tap in addition to Schlafly beer by the bottle and wine by the glass. Pizzino's current hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For the full menu and additional information, visit the Pizzino website.
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