Best Wine List: A well-considered cellar
The best wine list isn't necessarily the biggest but rather one that embodies creativity, consideration, and a hint of obsessive love. Pizzaiolo has been racking up the accolades for its menu of soulful antipasti, pizzas, and substantial entrées, but its page-long wine list contains just as many winners. In contrast to chef Charlie Hallowell's focus on local ingredients, manager Omar White showcases wines from Europe, primarily Italy -- unfamiliar varietals such as Arneis and Schioppettino, lesser-traveled areas of the Rhone, Austria, and Campania -- with Dry Creek zinfandels and Premier Cru Burgundies for folks less fond of the obscure. Bottles range from $26 to $70, which is on par with the restaurant's food pricing. One wine-shop pro we spoke with praised Pizzaiolo's focus on Piedmontese wines to complement the food. And this writer can clearly remember the Falanghinas and Neros d'Avola ordered to accompany our pizzas, a remarkable fact given his, uh, Catholic drinking habits. And if there were some way to circumvent the lines at the bar, we'd drink a lot more -- hint, hint.