November 18, 2009 > Restaurant Review: Pizza Italia
Restaurant Review: Pizza Italia
By Shavon Walker
Pizza Italia, once an iconic restaurant on Peralta Boulevard of the Centerville District in Fremont recently relocated to a shopping center on Ardenwood Boulevard across the street from Ardenwood Historic Farm near Highway 84. The location may be new but it has retained an "old world" ambiance with red and white checked tablecloths, Italian-American decor and, of course, excellent pizza and delicious Italian specialties. The resulting ambiance reminds guests that Pizza Italia isn't an ordinary pizza parlor. Owners Domenico and Carmela Delcuore have a strong sense of family and history, and it shines through in everything that they do.
Domenico emigrated from Italy to the United States many years ago, and began working for a construction company in New York. He soon realized that he wanted to work for himself and opened two pizza restaurants in Pennsylvania. He has been in the restaurant business ever since. After a move to California, Pizza Italia began and has always been a family affair. Domenico and Carmela Delcuore operate the restaurant, while their sons help customers and work in the kitchen. I asked Joe Delcuore what his favorite dish was, and he was hard pressed to reply. After a lot of thought, he told me, "The meatball sandwich. It's got homemade sauce." He also noted that many customers like the Pizza Italia combo.
My fiance and I decided to try fried mozzarella, veal parmigiana, rigatoni, and a mini pizza. The mozzarella sticks were perfect; no grease and the cheese was firm, not a gooey mess when I bit into them. This worked out nicely for dipping purposes. My fiance's side salad was wonderful as well. "You can tell this was made with fresh lettuce," he commented, "not something in a bag." The garlic bread was far less garlicky than I expected. Garlic complemented the bread instead of overpowering it, and it worked nicely.
I requested sausage on my mini eggplant pizza; they were just the right size, lightly flavored with caraway. The eggplant was lightly breaded and worked well with other flavors on the pizza. A thin and slightly crispy crust was just right. My fiance's veal parmigiana was served over a huge serving of rigatoni with Pizza Italia's homemade sauce. The veal cutlet was lightly breaded and covered with just the right amount of cheese and sauce. It wasn't overcooked. Other Italian specialties such as Calzoni, Lasagna and Stromboli were tempting but we will have to wait for a return visit to sample them. Although we didn't order dessert, the buzz around town is that Pizza Italia Tiramisu and Cannoli are terrific.
Pizza Italia is a good spot for great Italian food whether eat in or take out; they offer free delivery to the Fremont/Newark area. If you like good Italian food and pizza at reasonable prices, try Pizza Italia.
Reviewed November 6, 2009
34765 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont