Wiseguy–smoked mozzarella, fennel sausage and roasted onions, Below
Rosa–Parmigiano Reggiano, red onions, pistachios, rosemary (my favorite)



I’m in Phoenix on a business trip and heard about Pizzeria Bianco when I browsed the local restaurant guide. I’m always looking for the local, not chain, places to try. I thought it sounded familiar so I looked for more information on my i phone. I suspected I had even seen something about it on Food Network and sure enough there was an episode on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Pizza” and John Edge (never heard of him) raved on and on about the Pizza Rosa he had there.
I located it and checked it out and found that it was a short walk from the Sheraton where I’m staying. Internet instructions said to get there either before they open at 5 (go at 3:30) or at 9, an hour before they close or there would be a 2-3 hour wait. I opted for the early and was outside the door at 4:00. There was already a couple waiting, playing scrabble. Did I mention this is August and the temperature in Phoenix is 110 degrees?? The doors don’t open until 5 but they have a covered area in front of the restaurant with tables and chairs. I sat down, drank my water, and read my Kindle for i phone book. It was like sitting in a sauna! At 5:00 the door opened and we got in. Not a big place, cozy, clean and nicely decorated with the big wood burning pizza oven in the corner. Pizzeria Bianco does not do take-out and Chris Bianco is said to be there every day making the pizzas. They are only open Tues-Sat, 5-10. The menu is small but has a few selections of appetizers, salads, and then the pizzas. I had to try the pizza I heard so much about–Rosa. A simple pizza with Parmigano-Reggiano cheese, thinly sliced red onions, chopped local pistachios, and rosemary, Rosa is the one John Edge raved about on Food Network. I also ordered the Wiseguy, another famous one with house smoked mozzarella cheese, fennel sausage, and roasted onions. You can order a pizza half one type/half the other. I didn’t know that and ordered both pizzas. Oink. (Well, they have boxes for leftovers and I’m sure I can find willing friends to share it.) I really, really liked the Rosa. The combination of ingredients were perfect together and in just the right quantities. Same with the Wiseguy. The smoky cheese, roasted onions went so well with the crispy around the edges fennel sausage. The crust was chewy, favorful, and charred just a little, giving it a deep, smoky flavor. Using the best ingredients, having the right equipment, and attention to detail seem to be the secret here. It’s not about quantity and piling a bunch of fatty meat and cheese on top of tasteless crust like so many pizza places I avoid.
We have pizza like this in Ft. Worth at Rocco’s Pizza on Camp Bowie, however he has no seating!
This pizza tastes the best as soon as it’s made, not after a trip home in the car.
I looked up Rocco’s ingredients and he does not have pistachios, rosemary, smoked mozzarella on his menu. I guess I’ll have to try to recreate the Rosa at home. Time to buy that wood fired pizza oven!