Best Pizza - 2002
Pizza's come a long way since the old pepperoni-and-Ragú renditions of our vanished youth; nowadays we have before us a quasi-Sicilian smorgasbord of stuffed pizzas, deep-dish pizzas, pizzas with tripe and cilantro, even fluffy pizza soufflés. Amid all of this pizza effluvia are the dazzling wood-fired creations of Pizzetta 211, a modest little hideaway on one of the Richmond's quieter side streets. Here masterminds Tamar Peltz and Ria Ramsey craft individual pizzas out of organic grains, produce, and dairy products, resulting in fragrant, cracker-thin pies bubbling with imaginative and delicious toppings. Our favorite combines mildly pungent Valle d'Aosta with smoky prosciutto, spiky sprigs of green garlic, and runny fried eggs, but the other offerings are equally sublime (radicchio, Gorgonzola dolce, and spiced walnuts, anyone?). Beer, wine, salads, and desserts are available as well, and the setting -- fresh flowers, antiques, a four-stool counter, original art on the walls, and Chet Baker on the stereo -- is light, airy, hip, and friendly all at once.