Sometimes living in a big city means compromising on the small-town feeling of familiarity and comfort, but that isn't the case with LAMP Wood Oven Pizzeria. The minute you step into this cozy restaurant, you're greeted with the warmth of a red brick oven that radiates a welcoming heat throughout the room. Even though the restaurant has occupied the space at the La Mirada Shopping Center on Pinnacle Peak Road for only five years, there is an overwhelming sense that many dine here regularly. That likely isn't an accident, as owner Matt Pilato is the unassuming, friendly chef molding the dough to produce thin, but tasty Neapolitan pizzas.
Humble and approachable, Pilato started the restaurant along with his wife, Lindsay, in 2011. When asked why he started making pizza specifically, he says, "I just love it and enjoy experimenting with different ingredients."
We dined on the Terroso, a combination of roasted crimini mushrooms, roasted artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers — we tasted an immediate potpourri of complementary flavors — fresh mozzarella (Pilato makes his cheese in-house), and the right touch of crust. If a vegetarian pizza isn't appealing, there is no need to fret. LAMP offers 20 variety of pizzas. There are options like the Gem, a combination of LAMP Sicilian sausage, natural-casing pepperoni, ricotta, garlic, and oregano; the Scientist, a pizza which features three varieties of thinly sliced salami and meaty green olives; and Jesse's Girl, an interesting mix of baby meatballs, ricotta, and roasted red peppers.
Although pizza is the highlight of the menu, LAMP doesn't sacrifice its appetizer menu for its entrees. You don't want to miss the Mignulata, a Sicilian stuffed bread with LAMP Sicilian sausage, pecorino, and cauliflower. This is consummate comfort food, with flaky layers interspersed with vegetables, cheese, and meat. The dipping oil accentuates the decadent softness of the bread with spice.
If you don't want to feel full before you've even tried the pizza, LAMP offers a wide variety of salads. The simple salad mixes romaine, thinly sliced red onions, tomatoes, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, tossed with white balsamic vinaigrette.
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To say LAMP is only a pizzeria is understating this establishment's expertise and excellence. When a restaurant offers comfort, not only in its ambiance and in its food, it is the complete package and the full experience. With a single dinner, we already know we are going to be regulars at this more-than-a-pizzeria restaurant. Next time, we're ordering the eggplant parmigiana.
LAMP Wood Oven Pizzeria
8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale
Tuesday and Wednesday: 4-9 p.m.
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 4-9 p.m.