The skinny: We haven’t hit the Monadnock region as much as we’d like, so on a recent trip west to visit family, we found our way to Grappelli’s Pizza in Peterborough.
Grappelli’s bills itself as the only brick-oven pizza in town. The small eatery in a small plaza only has seven tables, and we assume they are meant for the quick eats slice business they do. (Slices start at $2.50.)
Pizzas here come in 12 inches ($7.95) and 16 inches ($11.95). A nice selection of toppings is available, ranging in price from $1.50-$3: Build your own pizza with choices such as banana peppers, gorgonzola and steak. Then pick your sauce: tomato sauce, pesto, Alfredo, ranch, BBQ, garlic and olive oil, and ricotta base.
Grappelli’s offers 16 specialty pies on its menu. A few of the options here are the Vidalia Onion ($10.95/$15.95), a white pizza with onion sauce, plum tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella and onion; Grappelli’s Maguerite ($12.95/$18.95), which has a pesto base, mozzarella and tomato slices; and the White Clam ($12.95/$18.95), which boasts of a white clam mix topped with hot cherry peppers.
As a bonus, Grappelli’s offers gluten-free crust in its small size for an extra $3. And calzones here begin at $6.95.
Review: On our recent visit to Grappelli’s, we chose to order a small pizza with hamburger ($9.45).
Deidre’s eyes immediately went to the crust. The end crust was a gorgeous buttery brown color, and she loved the first crispy bite she took into it. The bottom crust wasn’t crispy, but it held up the pizza fine. It wasn’t a heavy crust, and Andrew liked the chewiness of it. He also liked that the outer edge was pretty small, meaning the toppings went almost to the edge. Andrew’s only real complaint is with the “brick-oven” claim. He didn’t see a brick oven, and the pizza didn’t have any sort of brick oven taste.
A little less likable was the hamburger topping. The pieces were tiny, and Deidre thought it was hard to detect the taste with each bite. Andrew found a bit of zest, but thought it wasn’t anything special. Taking a piece of hamburg off, Deidre noted that the pieces were moist and not dried out, but an extra step like that shouldn’t be necessary to taste a topping.
Deidre thought the amount of cheese was perfect. It carried an acceptable amount of grease, which we attributed to the topping. Andrew liked that it was just thick enough that you could tell you were biting through it.
Less than perfect was the tomato sauce. It was very thin, and similar to how Deidre described the hamburger topping, she found it somewhat undetectable. She did take in the sweet tastes, which she didn’t mind, but she felt a little more sauce would have balanced out the pizza better. While Andrew agreed on the amount of the topping, he found the sauce more zesty than sweet.
The crust held up well on the cold pizza, staying just chewy enough to be enjoyable. The light sauce was pretty much undetectable, but the cheese was still great.
Rating: Deidre: 3.5 / Andrew: 3.5 = 7/10 slices
209 Concord St., Peterborough