Monday, April 16, 2012

Fun Playing with Pizza and More at Crostatas

It was just a couple of weeks ago that the discussion flared up in the office again: people saying that they like Crostatas Pizzeria in Highland Heights Ohio, but "it's just so expensive for what you get." I continue to respectfully disagree, and offer the following in evidence. Crostatas features pizzas made in the Neapolitan style, with a thin crust.

All of the pizzas are presented cut into 8 small slices.

Pizza Alba: San Marzano Tomatoes, Capocollo, Arugula, Fresh Egg, Grana Padana and EVOO, $14. 

This delicious pie fed my dining companion and myself, with two slices left over. As you can see, the crust was thin, with chew rather than crunch, and just the right amount of char on the bottom - a perfect crust. The fresh, runny egg complimented the salty capocollo, with arugula offering a slightly spicy contrast. The cheese brought it all together. And at $7 a person for lunch - what's not to like?

A few weeks later, I finally got my husband to join me for lunch at Crostatas, and he enjoyed it so much that we went back for another shortly after. 

We began with hot peppers stuffed with house-made sausage, served with house-made tomato sauce and house-made breadstick. 

The dish was simply magnificent. The peppers had just enough spice to play off of the mild tomato sauce, but not so much as to outshine the sausage, which truly starred. So much more than the sum of its parts - the preparation enhanced each element on the plate. I don't think I've ever enjoyed the texture and mouthfeel of peppers so much before, without a hint of wateriness or stringiness. At $7, I could easily make a lunch of this if I didn't have someone to share it with!

Basic margharita pizza - $11.50 for 8 slices and worth every penny! 

The pizza consisted of a thin, chewy crust with just a bit of char on its belly, topped judiciously with tasty tomato sauce and cheese. Again, there were leftovers for the next day's lunch. 

Our next visit began with Arancini. Risotto is formed into a ball and stuffed with a meaty ragu, peas, and parmigiano, then breaded and fried, and served on a bed of marinara sauce with a sprinkling of cheese. This generous portion, which again could have been an entree for a single person, was $6.

The only flaw in this dish, for me, was the frozen peas. Otherwise, we deemed it plate licking good.

For our Entree, we shared a Pizza Salsiccia: San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Italian Sausage and EVOO, our most expensive item yet at $14.50.

The sausage, probably the same as that which had previously stuffed our hot peppers, melted in the mouth. The crust seemed like it had been made by different hands - it was a bit crispier and to my taste, maybe should have come out of the oven a few seconds sooner. But this pizza still ran circles around any lunch pizza available on the East Side of Cleveland.

I agree with my office-mates that Crostatas is not always the cheapest date in town. But the quality is certainly in line with pricing - quality of ingredients (most are imported from Italy; the Berkshire Hog featured on the specials sheet the day the last photos above were taken is from Chardon, Ohio) and quality of preparation. For my money, when I'm hankering for pizza at lunchtime, Crostatas remains my first choice on Cleveland's East Side, and the appetizers recently sampled also rate honorable mentions. (I do have a second option at dinner, Marotta's in Cleveland Heights, which is more New York than Neapolitan style, and which I enjoy as much as Crostatas.) Case closed.

Crostatas Pizzeria
558 Bishop Road
Highland Heights, OH 44143
(440) 449-7800
Closed Sunday


  1. Wow, that all looks so good! We haven't been.

  2. Except the case isn't closed. Ripped from an episode of Matlock, I've found a place that is better. With THAT shot across the bow, I've got to stop traveling long enough to write about it. I haven't slept in my own bed for a week straight in over 7 weeks.

  3. @Dine O Mite - well don't keep it to yourself! Inquiring minds want to know where!

  4. I love Crostatas! We went there soon after coming home from Italy because we were craving "real" pizza. It definitely hit the spot!