Let’s back up four hours from yesterday’s blog. We arrived in Glendale for the Glow at about 4:30 p.m. to meet Raina and Jesse for dinner at La Piazza al Forno. (For background on La Piazza al Forno, see our blog of January 1st of this year.) Given that the main streets were closed and everyone with parking was charging $10.00 for the privilege, I soon realized that the Glow was a bigger deal than I had anticipated. So I was prepared for some wait, given that the restaurant is directly across the street from most of the evening’s activities.
So a half-hour wait didn’t seem unreasonable, especially since we specifically wanted one of the few tables on the sidewalk patio. A half-hour came and went, and we were approached by the hostess. We could have the available four-top inside if we wanted, but we decided to wait.
Soon after we were seated, our server brought a plate of bruschetta to the table—compliments of the restaurant in apology for the mix-up.
As appetizers, we ordered the fried calamari and one Margherita D.O.C.—San Marzano tomatoes D.O.P. house-made mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil.
I have always considered the fried calamari at Andreoli Italian Grocer in Scottsdale to be the gold standard, but La Piazza al Forno’s is so close a second that I am not sure that, in a blind taste test, I could tell the difference.
As were finishing our appetizers Raina and I noticed a plate being served to the woman at the next table that looked like a large cinnamon roll with icing running over the sides. “What is this?” we asked our server. It turned to be Chicken Pesto Lasagna made from a family recipe with chicken, ricotta and homemade pesto cream sauce in and baked with mozzarella.
I only had a taste of the white cream sauce which had a mild pesto flavor. Raina reported that the chicken had been ground and mixed with the ricotta and that, in her opinion, it needed something to “jazz up” the flavor.
At any rate, Schreiner’s Italian sausage wouldn’t be the one I would choose for a pizza of this caliber. I thought it a bit dry and at the same time overpowering. But that’s just my opinion.
Time to take a break outside (I know. Smoking isn’t good for me.) and as I was passing the hostess station I heard her saying that the wait was now three hours! Egad! And people were adding their names to the list.
With my break over, I head back to our table and see Chuck looking at me with a bemused look on his face. “What?” I asked when I sat down.
“How about another pizza?” he asked. (Is he kidding? No, he’s not.)
So he signals to our server and says to her “We’d like to order dessert. We’d like the Salvatore.”
At first she thinks he's kidding. “You want to order another pizza?” she asks.
I have mentioned our server at numerous points in this blog, and I would be remiss without singing the praises of Michelle. In the midst of what was an extraordinarily busy evening, she maintained her calm and—even more important—good humor as she attended to her tables. She made an evening that began unpleasantly a warm and personal experience.
Especially when there is a special event in downtown Glendale.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.