By BRITTANY SEEMUTH
After the first location was destroyed by fire in 2010, Pizza Man has rebuilt its flavor on Downer Avenue, with plans to open another as part of the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa. I stepped into the East Side location with a hungry belly and big expectations for this rising restaurant powerhouse.
To start, the place was incredibly busy. It became apparent why the restaurant does not take reservations for small parties. Yet, due to its vast size with two floors full of tables, I was sat quickly. The restaurant is tech-savvy, offering a text message service to notify guests when their table is ready.
After being seated, I got right to ordering the potato skins with bacon as a starter.
While finishing up my starter, something became increasingly apparent: the silverware was incredibly heavy! The silverware was so heavy it occupied my dinner conversation for some time to come, and made each bite of food slightly less enjoyable.
I set about ordering the main courses next. I knew I wanted a pizza, it is the restaurant’s namesake, but was disappointed that the restaurant only offers thin crust. I soon learned deep-dish pizzas are offered on Mondays only. Regardless of my failed crust-spectations, I ordered the Capricciosa pizza and the braised wild boar ravioli with a brown butter and sage sauce. I noticed that everything here is a la carte, (as it seems more and more restaurants in the area are becoming), so the entrée did not include a salad or soup, or even bread with dinner.
The food came out faster than I expected, as the place was full to the brim. The smell of fresh Parmesan cheese radiated from the wild boar ravioli as it was set before me.
The ravioli was smaller than I would had presumed they would be, but there were about 12 on the plate, so there was no doubt it would be filling. I appreciated that the ravioli was not swimming in sauce; the perfect amount was provided.
Between bites of ravioli, I sampled the pizza.
The Capricciosa pizza came with prosciutto, Genoa salami, sausage, mushrooms, artichoke and black olives, with mozzarella cheese, of course. We modified the toppings a bit and asked for just sausage on one half. I would have preferred the artichoke hearts to be cut smaller. They were so big that they would fall right off the pizza mid-bite. The pizza satisfied, but I found myself preoccupied by the flavors of the ravioli, with cravings for it long after leaving.
Pizza Man delivered my expectations but I would love to see more pizza crust options offered daily. With the expansion of its second location, I would bet that soon Pizza Man will be pizza king in the Milwaukee area.