Taste Pizza:90 [Dedicated]
By: Sara De Leeuw
There’s a new style of pizza in town with its eye on becoming your go-to favorite for fresh, authentic, hand-tossed pizza!
Pizza:90 Pizzeria Napoletana & Birreria in Riverside is located between Macys and Nordstrom at the Galleria at Tyler—a unique spot for a pizza place serving craft beer on tap and hand-tossed, build your own pizzas made using fresh dough and cooked in a wood-burning oven!
When we arrived, I noticed a nice sitting area outside. There were strings of lights hanging below the awnings and some nice plants that created a casual and peaceful atmosphere for patrons to enjoy pizza. When we went inside, everyone behind the counter said hello and welcomed us to Pizza:90. They did this for all their customers, and it was a nice touch.
The classic black and white decor was fun, and the metal chairs at the bar tables added to the modern feel of the place. Being inside a mall means the noise is a little loud at times, but it’s not too distracting. Instead it helps create a fun and positive atmosphere.
At Pizza:90 you can build your own pizzas and salads, so all the ingredients are out for you to see and choose your favorites. The counters are clean and welcoming, and the staff is very knowledgeable about everything on the menu.
The main feature of the restaurant was its gorgeous wood-burning oven. The name-sake of the business, this oven, imported from Italy, cooks your pizza at 900 degrees in just 90 seconds. Pizza:90 burns white oak, and you can see the piles of wood under the oven, ready to be tossed in at any moment in order to maintain the oven’s searing temperatures. The fire is stoked at night and takes up to two hours every morning to bring it back up to 900 degrees in order to begin cooking.
It’s really quite an experience to see pizzas going in and out of the oven so quickly! After seeing all this during my visit, I was very excited to sit down and start eating.
We started our meal with two gorgeous hand-tossed salads. The Market Salad was composed of baby spring greens, pear, apple, blue cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts and a honey champagne dressing.
We also had The Caprese Salad, which had Ciligiene mozzarella, heirloom cherry tomatoes tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette with fresh basil and a balsamic glaze drizzle over the top. Both of these salads really surprised me. They are not your typical pizzeria salads. They were fresh and savory and would be a perfect meal by themselves if you were in the mood for something light! The portions were generous too. Get one to share as a starter, and you won’t be sorry.
At Pizza:90, the dough is made fresh, every day. The dough is then used four different ways, each unique and equally delicious.
First, of course, is the dough for the pizza. At Pizza:90 you can make a pizza your way or choose one of their Neapolitan classics. The staff also makes bread from the dough, to add to their salads and starters. They use it for Calzones and believe it or not, their desserts! More on that later.
Manager Josh Roa St. Pierre chose four pizzas for us to try during our visit. They were a great representation of the different styles of pizza and the different bases at Pizza:90.
First was the Pesto Geno pizza. This pizza had pesto sauce and a mozzarella cheese base, then was topped with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma and a thick drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Hands down, this was my favorite pizza. The pesto was fresh and bright, and the sweetness of that balsamic glaze playing off the salty Prosciutto was really good! The next pizza we sampled was the classic Margherita Pizza. A base of fresh dough, topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, thick slices of Fior-di-latte mozzarella, fresh basil and a healthy drizzle of olive oil.
After that, we tried the BBQ Chicken Pizza, which Josh says is one of their best-sellers. This pizza had mozzarella and BBQ sauce for the base, then was topped with pecorino smoked mozzarella, caramelized onions, chicken, red onion and fresh parsley. Here’s a tip for this pizza, get it with bacon on top! It’s delicious!
The last pizza we had was the Spicy Pepperoni Pizza. This pie had a definite kick to it, so if you like your pizza spicy, this is for you! The base for this pizza was Piiza:90’s spicy San Marzano pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Calabrian Chiles. It was too spicy for me, but I know this is something my family would enjoy.
There were many other classics pizzas on the menu I look forward to trying in the future. One pizza was the Capricciosa with Italian ham, mushrooms, artichoke and black olives. Other classic pizzas included Italian sausage with roasted red peppers and caramelized onions and the Four Cheese pizza. Don’t forget, Pizza:90 also lets you create your own, so your options are endless.
Of course, no Italian dinner is complete without dessert and a shot of Nespresso! Don’t worry, Pizza:90 had that covered too. They serve classic Italian desserts like Cannoli and Tiramisu, a lovely looking Limoncello cake and unique items like a Nutella pizza calzone.
The dessert we tried was created by store manager, Josh Roa St. Pierre. He made a cookie butter calzone using their regular pizza dough, filled with a generous amount of cookie butter (also called Speculoos), then baked in their wood-burning oven, drizzled with chocolate sauce, honey and dusted with powdered sugar. It was divine! Speculoos Cookie Butter is made with Belgian cookies and has an almost gingerbread-y flavor to it. Even though we were all full from salads and pizza, we managed to polish off the Cookie Butter Calzone with no problem.
Pizza:90 offers a wide variety of craft beer on tap, beer flights and wine. Along with a crazy soda dispensing machine that offers endless options for the soda-lovers in your group, you can also get bottled sodas at the counter too. Considering this restaurant’s convenient location, Pizza:90 is definitely a place you’ll want to visit often and bring the family, or hang out with friends.
Pizza:90, Galleria at Tyler, 1298 Tyler St., Riverside, CA. For more information, please visit this website. You can also follow Pizza:90 on Facebook and Twitter.
Full Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Pizza:90 in Riverside, however any opinions expressed are 100% our own.