All four of the secondi were chicken dishes, so I sampled pollo saltimbocca. While the chicken breast was succulent, topped with prosciutto and mozzarella, the sauce was a touch salty, which overwhelmed the flavor of sage. However, its side of perfectly al dente penne was smothered with fragrant, well-balanced tomato sauce, with just enough black pepper to give it some kick.

Other pastas were just as satisfying. Linguine carbonara, tossed with velvety cream sauce, plenty of bacon, and fresh Parmesan, was cooked just right. And spaghetti con salsiccia stood out, thanks to marinara kissed with white wine. The wine made the mix of yellow peppers, mushrooms, and onions taste brighter, and was a tangy counterpoint to herby Italian sausage.

Four of the pastas were homemade, and gnocchi got my vote for most ethereal. How to explain the incredible lightness of these delicate dumplings? Biting into them was such a wonderful sensation that I kept eating well after I was full. The pink vodka sauce was great, too — tomatoey tanginess tempered with sweet, buttery cream.

Pizza A Metro owner Maurizio Benforte (center) gets a hand from employees Junior (left) and Tio with the house specialty, a meter-long pizza.
Jackie Mercandetti
Pizza A Metro owner Maurizio Benforte (center) gets a hand from employees Junior (left) and Tio with the house specialty, a meter-long pizza.

Location Info

Map

Pizza A Metro

2336 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Central Phoenix

Details

Small meatball pizza: $8.95
Grilled calamari: $7.95
Homemade gnocchi: $8.95
Tiramisu: $4.95
602-262-9999
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Pizza A Metro, 2336 West Thomas Road

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Meanwhile, cheese ravioli were blanketed in savory Bolognese sauce that I wanted to slurp up like soup. These dishes came with a choice of sauce, so I enjoyed the same vodka sauce over moist veal cannelloni, filled with a blend of ground veal and ricotta. And the lasagna, a long, tender strip of fresh pasta layered upon itself, was filled with Bolognese and garnished with a couple splashes of marinara.

Creamy, almost fluffy homemade tiramisu was one reason to order dessert, while crunchy cannoli, oozing with creamy filling, was the other. Who needs more than that to finish dinner with a smile? Not me. To be fair, though, I was smiling from my first taste of caponata.

No wonder this place is such a word-of-mouth sensation.

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