Milford: Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar

Giorgios 1

Royale with Cheese

The skinny: Sometimes we want to feel a little fancy when eating some pizza. Don’t get us wrong, we’ll always love the pizza places we grew up visiting, but it’s nice to enjoy our favorite food in style now and then. Fortunately, we’re finding pizza on the menu at nice restaurants more and more often. That includes places like Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar in Milford.

The menu at Giorgio’s is huge, but we were focused on only one part – the grilled pizzas. The oval-shaped dough for these pizzas is first cooked on the grill, then finished off in the oven. All of their pizzas come in full or half options, the latter of which allows you to take a tapas-like approach to pizza ordering.

Pizzas start at $6.99 for a half and $8.99 for a full size of their standard pizza, with your choice of red sauce or garlic and herb oil base, and its blend of cheeses. You can add toppings for 99 cents each for a half pizza and $1.99 for a full. While Giorgio’s has the standards covered when it comes to toppings, it also offers some different flavors, like prosciutto, crumbled bleu cheese and artichokes.

There are  lots of specialty pizzas to choose from, if you don’t feel like building your own. The Giorgio’s Signature ($9.99 for a half, $14.99 for a full) combines extra pepperoni and cheese with fried hot sausage ravioli. The Prosciutto and Peach combines caramelized peaches, prosciutto and goat cheese baked with mozzarella. There’s also the Potato Pizza ($9.99, $15.99) which starts with an herb and garlic crust (no red sauce) and piles on Greek fries, pancetta and mozzarella, with a drizzle of Greek yogurt.

If you want something a little different, you can also try the Stromboli: like a smaller version of a calzone, it’s pizza dough stuffed with prosciutto, pepperoni, sausage, basil, ricotta and mozzarella, along with red sauce for dipping.

Giorgio’s has a second location in Merrimack.

Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar Milford NH Roasted Garlic Margherita pizza

Roasted Garlic Margherita

Review: We couldn’t quite agree on a pizza, so we opted for two half-size pizzas: Deidre ordered for the Roasted Garlic Margherita ($9.49), while Andrew went with the Royale with Cheese ($9.99).

The very thin crust immediately won Deidre over. In fact, she mentioned it to Andrew several times over dinner. The grilled crust showed some char, but the taste didn’t reflect the same. The outside of the pizza was crispy, while the inside was a wonderful mix of crispy and chewy. Andrew thought it was a great way to prepare the crust ahead of time without sacrificing quality or flavor.

On the margherita pizza, the fresh mozzarella was prominently featured. Deidre feels that with margherita pizzas, you can never be sure what to expect with the cheese quantity, but at Giorgio’s, there was no skimping. The cheese slices were a little on the thicker side, but melted well and weren’t greasy at all.

It had been a while since the taste of tomato was the most noticeable part of the sauce, but that’s what Deidre noted at Giorgio’s. There were a few tomato chunks visible throughout the pizza.

Fresh basil covered the top of Deidre’s meal, but the garlic was what shocked her: This is definitely a pizza for garlic lovers. On just the half pizza, more than a dozen cloves covered the slices. While she didn’t mind some of it, she had to move a few of the cloves to the side of her plate.

The Royale with Cheese was colorful and pretty to look at, and once Andrew took his first bite, he was blown away by the complex flavors. The pizza included braised ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and a mustardy special sauce. Usually, it’s easy enough to separate the taste of pizza toppings, but that was not the case here. Everything blended together perfectly.

The mustard sauce stood out the most. Andrew thought it provided a tangy bite that he’s never tasted on a pizza before. The lettuce certainly serves to tie together the burger concept, but it also provides just a bit of relief from the flavorful mustard.

The ground beef brought its own flavor to the table, as well. This wasn’t dried hunks of hamburg, but instead juicy ground beef that was just a bit sweet – a great foil to the tangy mustard.

Andrew had only one nerdy quibble with his pizza. The name Royale with Cheese is no doubt familiar to anyone who’s seen “Pulp Fiction,” but that refers to McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese (remember … no metric system). This burger seemed more of an approximation of the Big Mac, which Vincent Vega taught us was simply Le Big Mac. Name aside, Andrew thought this was an excellent pizza.

It was just OK for the cold pizza test, though. The crust is probably best enjoyed fresh, and in the case of the Royale with Cheese, the lettuce was a bit wilted after a night exposed in the fridge. It’s hard to fault the pizza too much. Next time, Andrew will just finish it all at the restaurant.

Rating: Deidre: 4.5 / Andrew: 5 = 9.5 /10 slices

Giorgio’s Ristorante & Meze Bar
524 Nashua St., Milford
673-3939, Giorgios.com

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