Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: Sirianni's Pizza Cafe, Davis WV

In the mountains of West Virginia, the small town of Davis features a main drag with a handful of restaurants that cater to tourists and the locals. During our short stay at Black Bear Resort in the Canaan Valley, we ate twice at Sirianni's Pizza Cafe. We had wonderful pasta one night, and shared three different pizzas on another visit. Could we get destination pie in this remote mountain burg?
Sausage, roasted red peppers, asiago

We were lucky to be in the company of a West Virginia native who had visited the region before; he knew not only the best trails to hike and mountains to climb, but the dining options too. At Sirianni's, we experienced a cozy and busy dining room, even early in the evening on a summer week night.
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William Ave in the Canaan Valley

For our party of four, we ordered two medium pies (about 11") and one small 9" pepperoni pizza. One medium was a simple margherita with fresh basil, and the other was a regular pie with three additional toppings: asiago cheese, Italian sausage, and roasted red peppers.
Pepperoni pizza


The "small" salads that we ordered were in fact huge, but so good and fresh that we easily devoured them. Sirianni's also has a modest wine and beer selection (but no liquor). The pizzas arrived quickly thereafter. The small pie was personal sized, but just right for each of us to get a sample.
Pepperoni slice

Nice char underneath

Each pizza sported a medium-thick puffy crust. It had a nice golden color outside, decent char on the edges and underside, and a pale white-bread interior. The corniciones were massive in relation to the size of the overall pie, and also extra thick.
The carvings on the front door

The sauce was mildly flavored, but did taste of fresh tomatoes. The cheese was, like the sauce, applied in the correct proportion and a willing role player. On all three pies, I'd have liked the toppings to extend closer to the outer edges, reducing the size of those puffy corniciones.
Angle view of the pepperoni

Slice of the sausage-asiago-peppers pie

The pepperoni was tangy and tasty, and this pie worked best of all three. On the asiago-sausage-peppers pie, we made the mistake of ordering one too many toppings. Once again, we saw that when you select more than two toppings, you throw the pie out of balance. The regular mozzarella cheese plus the asiago made this pie heavy and unwieldy. The taste was spot-on, though.

Some of our group preferred the simple Margherita, and it was an especially well-balanced pie. All of the ingredients were in harmony in regard to both flavor and proportion.
Margherita slice

As with all pizza, the ultimate success or failure comes down to the crust. With these pies, the pizzaiolo worked some magic with some white-breadish dough. There is little doubt that Sirianni's uses home-made dough, and they showed off some kitchen skills in crafting that puffy crust that had a satisfying crunch and a sturdy underside that supported each pie perfectly.
Thick and puffy cornicione

Sirianni's pizza won't make you forget the legendary pies of Naples or Brooklyn, but this is must-have fare for the region. In that sense, it makes the cut as "destination pizza." 

Almost Heaven, West Virginia pizza.  

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