Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Adventure #62: Winflo Osteria

Folks, we have a contender. Let me introduce you to Winflo Osteria.

Now that I have your attention, let me tell you a story. We went here on my birthday, not to celebrate, but because adventuring needed to be done and we were in a tight spot. Our first option, Pieous, failed us. We made the trip out to far southwest Austin to take a crack at Pieous, arrived nearly two hours before they closed, and were told that they were about to run out of pizza! That revelation really harshed my birthday mellow, and I grew despondent. By the time we secured a table at Winflo, off of west 6th, I was a sourpuss.

When we left, I was joyous. Now, some of that is attributable to Karin's great company and the cute hostess, but the food did the heavy lifting. So what did we eat?

We decided to try to pizzas instead of a pizza and an appetizer. We went with a Margherita, as we do when we're expecting great things from a new place, and the Carne Italiana, Winflo's version of a Meat Parade.

Carne Italiana: San Marzano Sauce, Rosa Grande Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, Beef & Salami Meatballs, Fior di Latte, Pecorino-Romano

Margherita: Crushed San Marzanos, Fresh Basil, Fior di Latte, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We really liked these pizzas. Both had good char on the crust, which was made in the traditional Neopolitan style. The quality and taste of the cheese on both pies was fantastic, as well. Although we liked them both, we picked our sides and came down in favor of different pies.

I thought the Margherita was fantastic. The basil was legitimately fresh, the cheese was wonderful as mentioned, and the slight spread of San Marzanos added the occasional bright burst to your bites. Karin didn't feel that there was anything exceptional about the Margherita, although she agreed it was of high quality.

Karin preferred the Carne Italiana. She felt that there was more going on, which is a given when you've got more than the standard three ingredients on a Margherita. We both agree that the meatballs are the star meats of the show, and that a pie with just meatballs and garlic would be pretty sublime here.

I'd like to add a special note about the atmosphere. On surface, this place seems a bit snooty. Reservations, a gorgeous and crowded interior, valet parking. However, the staff is incredibly nice, and the outdoor seating area is simply one of the best I've seen. The prices are a bit higher than your average pizza place, but if you sit outside and listen to the soft 80's standards* piping through an ingenious outdoor surround sound system, you'll forget all your worries. 

Especially after you get a mouthful of pizza. 

* I asked about the music, and was told that it changes from time to time; occasionally they do have the soft jazz I would expect at an upscale bistro. I was more than satisfied with Jessie's Girl, though.

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