Thursday, January 6, 2011

Resto Review: Schoolhouse Pizza

Trips back to visit my parents for the holidays generally include little cooking on my part.  My parents are both amazing cooks and take the opportunity of all of us kids being home to feed us well.  That is why this is a restaurant review and it wasn’t even a planned restaurant review.  I flew to Boston on Christmas Day to get to my folks house in time for Christmas dinner and the boy drove down a few days later.  His drive down was less than safe as the car desperately needed new tires.  We made an appointment at a shop in Quincy, MA.  When we dropped off the car we asked the salesperson if they could recommend a good place to grab a bite to eat while we waited.  He pointed across the street and said that Schoolhouse Pizza was really good and that we should try “The Bully”

The name of what he suggested was intriguing enough for me to give it a try, that coupled with the fact that it was a pizza joint and I am basically always in the mood for pizza.  We made our way through the snow banks and across the slush covered street and into Schoolhouse.  Upon first glance it’s pretty standard pizza place, very similar to what most towns in Massachusetts know as their town pizza, like Medfield Town Pizza, Norfolk Town Pizza, etc.  But there was something different about this spot.  From the exposed brick, to the bar that overlooks the kitchen and finally to the chalkboard menus that lined the walls. 

Directly to the right of the door is a board that lists Orientation and Electives.  Orientation included a variety of salads and antipasti.  It was under Electives that I finally learned what the elusive “Bully” was, grilled sirloin steak, sautéed mushrooms caramelized onions and roasted red peppers with asiago cheese on a sub roll.  Yum! The steak & cheese at your average to Town Pizza sounds like it's been elevated to art with the roasted red peppers and asiago cheese.  While it sounded delicious we wanted to peruse the menu further to see what else struck our fancy. 

I would honestly eat any sandwich listed under electives, but as this is Schoolhouse Pizza, I really wanted to check out their pizza.  That led me over to the next chalkboard which outlined Pizza 101 with the toppings for a make your own pizza broken out into minors and majors.  The minors being your standard veg & cheese, while the majors were meats, higher end cheeses like gruyere and homemade mozzarella and even some fancier veg like artichoke hearts and porcini mushrooms.   The next column was Graduate Studies, or Schoolhouse's Specialty Pizzas.  It was in this column that we settled upon their signature pizza, as told to us by the owner while we debated our options, The Headmaster.   While it helped make our decision knowing it was their signature pie, it was really the toppings and the pizza itself that sold us.  The Headmaster is prosciutto, porcini mushrooms and truffle oil with their homemade tomato sauce and 5-cheese blend all set atop their handcrafted dough, which they let age for 24 hours to let the flavors and texture develop.  Amazing sounding right?  We ordered it immediately and the boy of course had to get some garlic dough knots, his personal fave.  

The dough knots came first and though they were steaming hot we dug right in.  Drenched in garlicky oil, golden brown on the outside and doughy on the inside, these knots were perfection.  The boy didn't speak, which as all my readers know is a good sign.  I will happily eat garlic knots, but these were so much better than any I had ever had before. I was extremely excited for our forthcoming pizza.  

Luckily we didn't have to wait too long for the pizza to hit our table.  Upon first glance I knew I was going to love this pizza.  It had a super thin crust with huge pink pieces of prosciutto and was peppered with chunks of porcini mushrooms with the slightly aroma of truffle.  I don't know if it gets much better than this.  I couldn't wait and dove right in.  My first bit was full of salty prosciutto, meaty mushroom, fresh sauce and cheese.   The sauce tastes like it's made from fresh tomatoes with just a bit of garlic and oregano not too much to overpower the freshness of the tomatoes.  The crust was crispy with just the right amount of chew, the perfect foil for this flavorful pie.  

I so wish we had more room and more time to sample more of their amazing menu.  We were staying in Quincy that night for New Year's Eve but Schoolhouse was unfortunately closed on New Years Day.  It's too bad because the Bully Sounds like perfect hangover food and so up the boy's alley.  I was dying to try the Rocket Science, which is a pizza topped with garlic shrimp and goat cheese or Manifesto,  pulled pork & black forrest ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and whole grain mustard pressed onto a sub roll. SInce we weren't able to go back before our trek home, we made a pact that every trip back to Boston will include a trip to the Schoolhouse.  

If you are lucky enough to live in the area, check it out!

Schoolhouse Pizza
1-3 School Street
Quincy, MA

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