Pizza Art CaféAddress: 4658 N. Rockwell Street
Pizza Art Caf? is not your typical pizzeria. The cozy BYOB near the Rockwell El stop is run by Jasmin ?Jasko? Bekto, a Bosnian who learned how to work a pizza oven in Milan. So you might be surprised to see that your order of bruschetta comes out as a chewy loaf of ciabatta bread instead of toast slices, and there are cured meats plus cevapcici sausages available.
The 12-inch pizzas ($11?$13) are more traditional and feature thin, handmade crusts that are crunchy around the edge but still chewy in the center. Topping combinations start simple with Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil) and get more complex. More than 20 varieties are available including Capricciosa (mushrooms, artichoke, ham, and green olives, topped with an over-easy egg), Frutti di Mare (mixed seafood) and Pizza Art (shrimp and homemade cheese sauce). There are several vegetarian options, so you don?t have to order the one called Vegetarian unless you like thick chunks of carrot and celery on your ‘za.
Service at Pizza Art can be attentive, spotty, and at times nonexistent, but that seems to depend on the night and where you sit. However, because the pizza oven is super hot (800 degrees), the pizzas only take a couple of minutes to bake, so once you do place your order, you don?t have long to wait.
?Italian Classics? on the menu include pastas ($10?$13), Chicken Picatta ($13), and Veal Scaloppine ($18). Dessert crepes are more Balkan than French in execution, but I don?t think anyone will complain about strawberry- or Nutella-filled mounds covered in whipped cream.
I?m no art critic, so I?ll spare you a description of the d?cor. But if the thought of staring at a disembodied mannequin head wearing sunglasses and floating in a yellow triangle ruins your appetite, you might want to sit facing the windows (or outside).