Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by Jeremy
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If you were wondering when Big Burrito would open another restaurant in Pittsburgh, the answer is spring 2022. A few years after they opened the popular (and quite delicious) Alta Via in Fox Chapel, the restaurant group expanded with a pizza shop, aptly named Alta Via Pizzeria, in Bakery Square.
While this one leans in heavily on their pizza menu, the appetizers and supporting dishes are very much reminiscent of the namesake Italian joint nearby.
We were fortunate enough to be invited to a soft open as guests of Alta Via Pizzeria, and share a bit more about what the meal was like in this review!
Note: Part of our meal was provided complimentary as part of the opening but we purchased additional food on our own. As always, all opinions are our own.
Alta Via Pizza Offers Family-Sized Portions
From the moment you walk into Alta Via Pizzeria, you'll understand why this one fits in so well in Bakery Square. A gorgeous space, a robust food menu of wine, cocktails, appetizers, an absurd amount of pizza, and more will greet you as soon as you sit down.
While it is entirely possible to get sticker shock looking at the menu at this one without any further reference point, you'll do well to note a few things up front.
First off, the pizzas are massive- big enough to feed a small family comfortably massive (two pies for us allowed for many, many meals leftover). Then there are the toppings which are perhaps some of the finest we've had in the city. On premium pies we're talking garlic confit, huge pieces of sausage, maitake mushroom, and Calabrian chili oil on just about everything. (Then, of course, is the Bakery Square effect because that is just to be expected these days.)
This may not work out so well at other pizza shops throwing their hat into the high-end pie game, but at Alta Via Pizzeria, it most certainly works and then some.
We started our meal off with glasses of wine from the by-the-glass menu as the restaurant had a strong showing of Italian wines with varietals you may not normally see (think Schiava and Valpolicella Ripasso holding up next to Chianti and Montepulciano). These quickly came out with our appetizers of broccolini and a grain salad (sans pine nuts) and our meal began almost as fast as we sat down.
For a moment, these dishes made us feel like we were transported to Fox Chapel to Alta Via as they were quite reminiscent of the food we had there. The broccolini was served with whipped ricotta, Grana Padano, Calabrian chili, and lemon and hit a wonderful balance of acidity, bitterness, and creaminess in every bite. The salad was full of grains like lentils and farro that were balanced with kale, radish, carrots, and citrus as well for an equally well-balanced bite.
These dishes were both large enough that they could be shared family-style, and could likely offer up a reasonable amount of food for three or four people each. They certainly didn't skimp on either!
The Romeo Round Pie is Truly Stellar
As for the pizzas, we really wanted one of everything at Alta Via Pizzeria as their menu included classics like Margherita and vodka next to some more elaborate toppings you'd expect to find at a restaurant such as this one. We decided to go out there a bit for our first order and picked a round pizza, Romeo, with sausage, Calabrian chili, caramelized onions, ricotta, and chives as well as the Flora square pizza (we'll call it Detroit style ourselves) which was a white pie with artichoke and blistered cherry tomatoes.
When the pizzas arrived at our table, we about fell over at how large they were. If you have any concerns about the price point, they should likely be alleviated as soon as you see the size of the pies. The round is on par with conventional extra-large pizzas, and the square is roughly the size of two personal Detroit-style pies at other shops in the city (we have the same pan at home and it is indeed a ton of food).
Both the round and the square pies were cooked perfectly, and the round had a nice char on the bottom while the square had the crispy edges we've come to expect (and love) from Detroit-style pies. The Flora itself had some intensely rich and flavors thanks to the white sauce and the artichoke, but if we were to critique it in the slightest the nominal amount of cherries may not have added enough of an acidic component to offset the savory toppings with the thick bread (tomato sauce on one of these beauties certainly would not let us down in a future order, though).
The Romeo round, on the other hand, was simply perfect. There was something about the combination of flavors in the toppings between the sweetness of the sausage and onions, heat of the oil (very minor), creaminess of the ricotta, and pop of the chives that made for an interesting balance with every bite. Throw in the acidity of the tomato sauce and you have a winner that is the kind of pizza we'll likely order every single time we visit (this plus something else to always try something new).
Yes, it was that good.
While we also would've liked to finish our meal with a dessert, after stuffing our faces full of the appetizers and an extra slice of that Romeo we simply had no more room and will have to try one again next time- if our order allows for it at least.
Overall, we are pretty excited that Big Burrito spun off a pizzeria from the Alta Via brand. This one feels like an extension of the Fox Chapel gem through and through and when you throw on some pretty stellar pizzas to go along with it, of course we're excited by that and look forward to visiting again once we work our way through the massive amount of leftovers we have.
Alta Via Pizzeria is located at 6425 Penn Ave in Bakery Square.