I've been meaning to get in a post about 2 Wives Brick Oven Pizza here in New London for awhile now. We all knew it was opening awhile before it actually did, thanks to being plugged in with New London Main Street and downtown in general (New London is NOT a big place). We were excited to sample the four cheese pizza with pink vodka sauce at the Spring Food Stroll. We were really excited to eat there the first time...and the second time...and the third time...and even more excited when we heard they had brunch. So how come I never got around to writing about it?
Laziness, I guess.
It was going to brunch at 2 Wives that finally convinced me that the time to blog had come. With Dev's done with brunch until fall, I've felt a need to try out some other Sunday breakfast venues (Passion Coffee House and City News - you're up next). 2 Wives' brunch menu is not extensive, but it is creative and delicious (plus, I never even expected them to offer brunch, so there's a bonus point right off the bat).
But let's start with the pizza.
I suppose I didn't want to blog about another brick oven pizzeria right on the heels of Apizzo in Pawcatuck (which does have very good pizza). Yet I was very excited that New London was getting our own brick oven pizzeria. We needed some new blood downtown, and we didn't really have any pizza offerings, let alone good pizza.
I knew when I tasted the four cheese at Food Stroll that it was a winner. However, I was surprised the first time I tried the actual pizza (not just the inch-wide snippets we got at the Stroll) how much of a winner it was.
For instance, I knew that the gorgonzola gave it that little kick in the cheese department (stronger flavor than the mozz, parm and romano, but used sparingly and effectively so as not to overpower) but I had totally missed the delicious onion-y flavor in the Food Stroll sample. Grilled onions and four cheeses equal a match made in heaven. And the pink vodka sauce is a great alternative to traditional pomodoro sauce - a little creamier with a little more bite - perfect for onions and gorgonzola.
The other pizzas we've tried have been very good, though none have rivaled the Four Cheese (that's not a bad thing - every restaurant is entitled to at least one stand-out dish, as long as the other dishes don't suffer). The Garden Pesto was completely LOADED with veggies, and the pesto actually tasted like basil, not oil. The Margharita is basic but tasty - adventurous isn't for everybody, anyway. I did think the Lasagna Pizza with meatballs was on the bland side - but perhaps that was in comparison to the other things we'd ordered? (I'd have to try it again to find out, and quite frankly, my love affair with the Four Cheese will probably prohibit that action.)
(I have not yet tried 2 Wives paninis or salads, although several look intriguing. I have heard from one person that their panini was fantastic and another that they were less-than-impressed. Both were people I would trust food judgment from. At some point I'll have to order one and find out.)
Already enamored with the pizza, I decided to go with Amanda for brunch this morning. The idea of a pizzeria serving brunch was just too intriguing to pass up.
As I said before, the menu is not extensive - there are only four things on it, with only a couple variations (but I believe you can get the regular pizzeria menu as well, which gives you the options of salads, etc) but the few things on it are VERY good.
I want to personally thank whoever invented the Eggs Benedict Calzone. People know from previous breakfast posts on this blog that I can not resist eggs benedict (although after reading Anthony Bourdain's Ktichen Confidential, I almost reconsidered my position on hollandaise sauce - almost). This delightful concoction swaps out the Canadian bacon for prosciutto (who in their right mind would complain about that substitution?!) and wraps up the eggs and the salty, delicious meat into pizza dough, which is then baked and drizzled with hollandaise.
This thing is SO good, I just might prefer it to real eggs benedict. It's huge, though - two small-ish calzones - Amanda and I could have split it (but...we didn't).
The other standout on the menu - which has been ordered by both Amanda and Carrie - is the French Toast Panini. 2 Wives dips their panini bread in egg, toasts it, then stuffs the "sandwich" with cream cheese and berries and provides the diner with a carafe of syrup to drizzle over the top. The panini bread stays nice and crisp, never falling into that "too goopy" category I feared this dish might.
The breakfast pizza seemed pretty average, nothing special (but how could a breakfast pizza compete with the two dishes I've just described? It couldn't. It was set up to fail by comparison).
2 Wives has a fairly extensive wine list for a small pizzeria - many varietals are represented (not just Pinot Grigio and Chianti, as is too often the case with "Italian" restaurants) and much of the list is available by the glass. They feature five draft beers and a selection of bottles. (There's also a very good, generously poured $5 mimosa available on the weekends to compliment your brunch.)
While I need to go back to try the salads and paninis, the pizza alone made 2 Wives a great addition to our local dining options, and I am thrilled that they do such a good weekend brunch as well. I'm looking forward to eating there many more times in the future.
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