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October 20th, 2010 CHRIS STAMM | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty: Restaurant Guide 2010

     
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5-10 pm Tuesday-Sunday. $$ Moderate.
[PIZZA, ICE CREAM] Conceived by Lovely Hula Hands owners Sarah and Jane Minnick as a pizza-slinging sister restaurant, Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty opened last month next door to the shuttered space that made it all possible, and as you enter Fifty-Fifty for the first time, the bright dining room—the antithesis to Hula’s romantic cloister—lands a sharp slap to your Hula Hands memories. But all is forgiven when the pizza arrives. Fifty-Fifty’s wood-fired pies are thin-crust miracles with faultlessly salty and chewy centers. With the exception of the margherita and a four-cheese number, the cast of characters changes regularly, but the creations are consistently impressive. In fact, pleasure here is proportional to the menu’s daring. The squid-and-olive pizza, accented with Calabrian chiles and aioli, might seem like the height of foolhardy overreaching, but the subtle tinge of Monterey Bay wildlife is enlivening. The menu also offers arugula and egg additions. The egg is ideal for the pancetta and fingerling-potato pie, which, after you spread the viscous yolk around, becomes the loveliest breakfast you will ever have for dinner. Fifty-Fifty’s housemade ice cream is assuredly worth saving room for, but resisting that last slice of pizza might be impossible. CHRIS STAMM.
Ideal meal: Squid pizza with black olives, Calabrian chiles and aioli.
Best deal: Plop an egg on the pancetta-and-potato pizza ($16) and skip breakfast.
Chef’s choice: “Our seasonal mushroom pizza. The Pacific Northwest has such amazing mushrooms. Right now we are using summer chanterelles and sweet corn for a perfect late-summer pie!” (James Albee)

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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