The menu is modest: half a dozen pizzas and a handful of starters. The ingredients are humble, and mostly local, with a few standout imports like mortadella from Modena, Italy. The atmosphere's low-key, too, with a blazing wood-fired oven as the main focal point in a rustic, brick-walled dining room. But as much as Pizzeria Bianco tries to be down to earth, it remains a dining destination for pizza fanatics, Slow Foodies, and the generally curious, who might've heard about chef-owner Chris Bianco's fantastic pies from Martha or Oprah or some other national media source.
The hype has created constant crowds, no matter what night of the week it is, along with critics who contend that no pizza is worth waiting hours for. But this is no ordinary pizza, and contrary to urban legend, nobody else in town comes close to creating a crust with such character, all bubbly and blistered, crisp and a little chewy. Toppings are just as memorable, from the sublime marinara — a cheeseless pie that celebrates garlic, oregano, and sauce redolent with ripe tomatoes — to the legendary Wise Guy, topped with fennel sausage, roasted onions, and house-smoked mozzarella. Sure, waiting for a table at this downtown landmark takes patience that borders on religious devotion. But one thing's certain: The faithful eventually get a taste of heaven.