Merrimack: Pizzico Ristorante
Italiano & Martini Bar

The skinny: Sometimes we just need a little bit more of an upscale ambiance with our pizza. Our friend Jo is a fan of Pizzico, and we thought we’d stop in to see what she had been raving about. (Pizzico’s other location — the original — is in Nashua.) Twitter follower @news_junkie also recommended that we try Pizzico.

Pizzico Ristorante Merrimack NH Margherita pizzaPizzas at Pizzico start at $7.99 for a 10-inch personal (toppings are $1.39) and $11.99 for a 16-inch large (toppings are $2.49). Topping choices include hot cherry peppers, fresh garlic, ricotta and artichokes, among 24 other options.

Pizzico offers 15 specialty pizza varieties. Try the Three Cheese Spinach ($11.29/$17.99), a no-sauce pizza featuring mozzarella, ricotta and romano; the Meat Lover ($10.99/$18.99), with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and meatballs; and the self-named Pizzico ($11.99/$19.99), another no-sauce pie with sausage, portobello mushrooms, mozzarella and grilled chicken, then topped with paprika, parmigiano, tomatoes and olive oil.

Pizzico also offers a gluten-free personal pizza, starting at $10.99, and makes a note on its menu as to which of its toppings are not gluten free.

Review: We opted to go with Jo’s favorite: a large Margherita pizza ($13.99), which has tomato sauce, mozzarella and romano cheeses, basil and olive oil.

Though the fresh basil was chopped up tiny and was hard to be seen under the cheese and oil, Deidre thought it was the most noticeable part of the pizza. She could taste the strong flavors of each bite — and enjoyed those bites because of it. Andrew didn’t exactly agree. With every bite, he liked the amount of basil a bit less. In the end, it was all he could really taste.

Due to the strong flavor of the basil, Deidre then thought the only disappointment was the sauce. The basil was so bold that she couldn’t taste the sauce at all. There wasn’t much sauce — which was completely expected on this ultra-thin pizza — but she likes being able to taste everything on the pie. Still, she enjoyed the tastes for what they were. (We were able to get a taste of the sauce with the side of marinara served with the fried mozzarella appetizer we ordered. Very thin, and a little sweet. Definitely worth checking out again.)

The crust was a beautiful golden brown. It had that slight crunch at the beginning of the bite into it, but the some soft doughy parts in the middle at the end of the bite. Deidre recommends saving the dipping oil from the rolls to dip the crust in; this is no boring oil — it’s heavy on finely chopped herbs. (She even occasionally dipped her crust into that side of marinara sauce for a different taste.) The thinness of the bottom crust definitely made this a bit of a fork-and-knife pizza

For a thin pizza, there was a decent amount of cheese. Andrew thought the pure mozzarella had a great chewiness to it, especially as the pizza cooled down. The cheese was made all that much better thanks to a drizzling of olive oil, which added flavor without making things greasy.

The basil was still dominant when the pizza was cold. The crust was still nice and chewy, which was the highlight of the cold pizza.

Rating: Deidre: 4.5 / Andrew: 3.5= 8/10 slices

Pizzico Ristorante Italiano & Martini Bar
7 Continental Blvd., Merrimack

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