A Look at Pizzerias around the U.S.
Qua Pizza | Manasquan, New Jersey
Qua Pizza is a new pizza shop on the Jersey shore capitalizing on the trending and classic Roman-style pizza featuring its light, crunchy and flavorful square pizza. “Our pizza and fun atmosphere is what makes us stand out the most,” says Cristina Varriale. “Can’t forget our homemade meatballs…everyone goes crazy over them! We have a history of running both old school pizzerias and high-end restaurants and our vision for Qua was to blend the two giving people a place they can eat affordable and all fresh house made food every night of the week.”
A best seller is the Parmigiana with lightly fried eggplant, mozzarella, tomato sauce and fresh basil. Another favorite is the Cacio e Pepe, a pizza bianca topped with Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano, mozzarella and black pepper.
Being a young pizzeria during an international crisis, Varriale says, “We quickly adapted to the circumstances by implementing additional safety procedures and social distancing measures for pickup. We introduced ‘take and bake’ pies created to allow people to pick up during off peak hours, added family-style entrees to our menu, offered a 20-percent discount on all pizzas ordered online and donated to local essential workers.”
Pizzeria Portofino | Chicago, Illinois
The chic pizzeria received good news during the quarantine that it was named Best New Restaurant by the Chicago Tribune. During Chicago’s dining restrictions, Portofino temporarily closed, launched a limited pickup and delivery pop-up serving its artisan pizza, spritz kits and other specialty items. A family meal included Caesar salad, margherita pizza, Pugliese Pizza (with crumbled fennel sausage, chili flakes, rapini and Pecorino), Baked Rigatoni Amatriciana and tiramisu. There is also the Due Funghi with roasted mushrooms, mozzarella and porcini crema. Its hip, downtown location includes boat access on the Chicago River.
Bluebird Pizzeria | San Leandro, California
Bluebird has garnered a solid takeout reputation in the Bay Area amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a straight-forward spot with pizza, salads and cannoli, that’s it. The pizza is New York style with a broad array of pies with several meatless and vegan options. The Kellie Grrrl is topped with mushrooms, green olives, Calabrian chilies, ricotta sauce, mozzarella and ricotta. Vegan pies are extra saucy with no cheese. The Heart of Glass features artichoke, mushroom, piquante peppers and spinach.