Friday, February 8, 2013

Out and About: Winflo Osteria

I first had the chance to sample the pizza from Winflo Osteria before the storefront was even open. They provided food for the American Institute of Architects holiday party this past December, baking pizza at lightning speed in a mobile oven. I remember being impressed with how delicious it was considering the conditions they were cooking in, but never really gave a thought to when the actual restaurant would open. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I drove by the gigantic oak tree out front of their new building, all lit up with the most beautiful twinkle lights I've ever seen. I knew immediately that I would make a visit soon.

When a friend suggested happy hour this week, I said that we would have to meet at Winflo. It was convenient for her, and it would give me an opportunity to have some of their yummy pizza again. I was a little weary over the fact that they've only been open a few weeks, but the gorgeous weather and chance to sit out on the patio won me over.

There are many great things about this new darling of a restaurant. I'll start with aesthetics- the apple-green exterior is eye popping, without being obnoxious. The lit tree in front is stunning, and when you pull up, you're even offered complimentary valet parking. (Note to self for my next visit, as I did not know that tidbit going in.) Another great feature is the fact that they take reservations. Not enough restaurants do this, and I appreciate the fact that it makes it easier for me to get together with groups of girlfriends, or for Hank to plan a romantic dinner (hint, hint). I wish I had gone inside the building to take a look, but my friend had been waiting on me and I was ready to sit and have a glass of wine. She had nabbed a table in the corner of the large patio, and I think we both had good views for people watching.

Our server was nice and attentive, and had a few suggestions to make for us when asked. But she also gave us plenty of time to talk and catch up without interrupting more than necessary. Water was refilled in a very timely manner (a big pet peeve of mine when it's not), and plates were cleared shortly after finishing too. I don't recall any special happy hour pricing, but the overall prices on the menu make for a reasonable meal. We shared salad and a pizza, and each had two glasses of wine, and got out of there for $36 (including tip). Not too shabby if you ask me!

I wish we had started with an appetizer- I'm dying to try the crispy artichoke hearts. But I ordered the Gorgonzola Salad instead (not big enough to share). The butter lettuce was fresh, and the creamy peppercorn dressing had a nice little bite to it. I ordered mine without the pancetta, but didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.

Making a decision on which pizza to order was a much more difficult task. We narrowed it down to 3 options, but ultimately decided on the Prosciutto Pizza because the balsamic onion marmalade sounded so delicious. I asked if they could put the prosciutto on just one side, which they did with no problems. I love their pizza! The crust has an earthy flavor to it, and just the right crispiness. It's thin, but not too thin. The mozzarella really anchored the onion jam on it, and the fresh arugula and parmesan on top added an interesting layer. It was easy to eat, and the flavors were just a great combination. I can't wait to go back (hopefully for our next girl's night out) and sample more of their pizza options. But the pasta entrees looked good too, and apparently the Gnocchi with Arrabiata Sauce is a hit, as they were already out of it for the evening.

We didn't save room for dessert, but I'm glad to know that there are plenty of reasons to go back and visit. They are only open for dinner right now, but I hear brunch is in the near future. They also have a downstairs Listening Room that offers acoustic music and serves as a space for private events. From the pictures on the website, the interior space looks clean and inviting, and I can't wait to see the pizza oven. And as if there aren't enough great things already mentioned, the patio is dog-friendly to boot! I think Winflo is on to a great thing, and I'm looking forward to my next visit soon.

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