Alternative Dining in CHicago
    
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#1
Posted April 17th 2006, 3:55pm
Has anyone eaten pizza from here? Apart Pizza Company is on the corner of lincoln/montrose just steps away from Wells Park in Lincoln Square.

They have homemade signs which makes me wonder.

BTW it's not on metromix yet.
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#2
Posted April 17th 2006, 4:24pm
They were giving samples away the first weekend they were open, which was in March. The crust is quite thin and crisp. The tomato sauce was a little sweet for my taste, but many people prefer it that way. Toppings were not heavy handed in application. They said the pizza maker was from Italy while the man in front seemed to have an Eastern European accent.

There are only a few stools for seating. They are aiming for carryout business when activity in Welles Park picks up. Once the weather is more conducive to a picnic in the park we plan to pack the other elements and then pick up a pizza. We haven't tried more because I don't think these pizzas would hold up very well for carrying to our house in the western part of Lincoln Square.
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#3
Posted April 17th 2006, 6:40pm
We tried it just after the opening, carryout was a bit cold by the time it arrived home, but otherwise, I thought it was excellent. I prefer thin crust pizza, and not too much cheese, excellent pepperoni. They cut the 18" pizza, but not party style, thank goodness.

I live west of Western, my daughter attends a nearby school, and we spend time at Sulzer library, Welles Park and the Old Town school every week, I can see this becoming a regular stop for us. Two different guys waited on my husband, one american, one italian.

Elizabeth
celebrated end of tax season with a char dog at Hot Doug's, then back to catch up on email...........
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#4
Posted April 25th 2006, 9:48pm
Apart is very good. Very much like DOC but not so outrageously priced. Good Italian style crust - excellent toppings/sauce/cheese ratio.
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Tried Apart yesterday. They are not trying to do what Spacca Napoli, Frasca, Follia, or DOC do. This is a modest, takeout-only storefront selling pies to the Little League kids and Bosnian bocce players in lovely Welles Park (could there be a better place for a pizza stand? How about some good ice cream?). Delivery is hot and free.

I thought the pizza was very good. The 650 degree oven does not result in charred bubbles like those made by hotter forni around town, but the paper-thin (not at all crackery) pizzas are delicious. They are also a good deal at 15 bucks or so for a basic 18" pie.

Apart's pizza might be Chicago's best current example of the standard NY-Neapolitan style, answering for now that oft asked question in my mind. Much better, in my opinion, than Santullo's for example. It's somewhat ironic given that this is the one new pizza place run by a actual Italians (albeit from Bolzano, I think he said, which is as geographically near the ancestral home of flamme küche).

All of the sudden, we have quite a few solid to great nontraditional (for Chicago, that is) pizza options. I'm glad that I live right in the middle of the slice described by SN, Frasca and Apart. Quite a diverse and robust pizza scene, no?

PS, I should mention that Apart has an LTH quote from this string on its menu, which I asked about. The owner stated that there has been a notable, positive "LTH effect" already.
Last edited by JeffB on May 22nd 2006, 10:17am, edited 1 time in total.
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#6
Posted May 22nd 2006, 10:15am
I would have to agree. I've ordered from them (with free delivery!) twice in the last week. My first venture was the Apart pizza which is: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and fresh mushrooms thinly sliced on top. As previous posters have said, the pies come out of the oven piping hot and freshly made. You can even ask them to cut your pizza into squares as opposed to their standard slices.

Living only a few blocks from them, I am excited to see such a great place hit the 'hood. I am sure they will do a brisk business during the Old Town Folk & Music fest, which hits Welles in July.
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Sorry to bump this thread so quickly. Ordered a large capriciosa [sic] yesterday, and, by God, it was the best pizza I have had this year.* (Red sauce, mozz, prosciutto, mushrooms and high-quality, lightly pickled artichoke hearts.) That includes some pretty fine pizze in both Chicago and NY.

Somewhat limited by the commercial (not wood fired) oven, these guys do a hell of a job. The sauce, particularly, was great. As previously noted, I would not call the style Neapolitan. But Italian, it very much is.

Purists might scoff at an 18" pie, but I think the large diameter pizzas are significantly better here, because the crust ends up paper thin (and, still somewhat soft -- properly so) in the center. The smaller pies are naturally a little thicker and consistent from perimeter to center.

You might be reminded of pizza from one of the better "slice" places in the CT/NY/NJ/PA pizza crescent.

Your mileage may vary, but when Apart is on, it's great. And I have sampled enough to feel comfortable saying it is consistent at a fairly high level.

*Understanding that there are several legitimate styles of pizza in the US, Italy and beyond, and recognizing that I have some very specific favorites that cover a wide spectrum, including D'Amato's, SN, Pizano's, Folia, Lombardi's, and Demmi's (Tampa), in no particular order....
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#8
Posted June 7th 2006, 11:40am
We ordered delivery from Apart a few weeks ago and were very happy with it. I had their pizza with anchovies, capers, etc. Tasty, if a little bit too salty. It is now our new default setting for pizza delivery. One nice addition is they will deliver movies from Dark Star video along with your pizza, which is great for us since that is our usual video rental spot. When we did it, I was told we were the first person to take advatage of it, so it took them a couple beats to figure out the steps to pulling it off (we had seen the service advertised at Dark Star), but it went very well.
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#9
Posted June 7th 2006, 12:05pm
Anybody know what their delivery boundries are?
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d4v3 wrote:Anybody know what their delivery boundries are?

d4v3,

Actually, a better question is address, hours and phone number.

Enjoy,
Gary

Apart Pizza Company
2205 W Montrose
Chicago, IL
773-588-1550
M-T 6pm - 11pm
Wed - Sunday 11am - 11pm
Last edited by G Wiv on June 7th 2006, 2:58pm, edited 1 time in total.
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G Wiv wrote:Actually, a better question is address, hours and phone number.
Thanks, that's a good place to start.
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I love this darn board.

I hadn't heard of this place even though it's very close to where I live. I just got delivery and that was literally the best pizza I've had in this city in the six years that I've lived here. I was excited with having found DOC and Spacca Napoli (sp?), but that blew them out of the water. Let alone the fact that they deliver, and without a delivery charge to boot.

1/2 proscuitto funghi, 1/2 bacon and mushroom, well done. Just about perfect.

To JeffB for sparking the interest -- you sir are a saint.
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Was happily able to capitalize on this thread the very day of reading it (yesterday). Mrs. B. was getting a haircut in the neighborhood, so the 5 yr. old and I wandered over to Apart. Very friendly counter lady helped me out of my quandry by saying they would make any of the pies in the 8" version, though the menu indicated that one whole column only came in large.

Ordered 3 individual pies and walked them across the street to the park where we took in a few low-key innings of women's softball. Sitting near the fence separating park from sidewalk, by son was so thrilled with his plain cheese pie, that he leapt up to accost passersby, announcing that he was eating pizza and urging them to go right in there where they could get some of their own.

The 3rd pie we took home to mom. It was an arugula topped one and I expected it to suffer from an hour's cooling and being boxed, but a quick 4 min. in our home oven revived it beautifully, allaying my fears that this particular style of pizza might not travel well if ordered for delivery. (Free delivery - no less!)

A very happy addition to our pizza eating life. I foresee a series of pleasant weekend afternoons sitting in the park and eating our way through their menu.
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We jumped on the Apart bandwagon tonight. We enjoyed the pizza, but next time we'll opt for take-out instead of delivery. The pizza wasn't hot when we got it; I think it'd be a great pie if we ate it as shortly after it left the oven as possible.

We had a large with pepperoni and mushrooms:
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We too were impressed with others opinion of this resturant so we ordered a large capriciosa to pick up. Although we only live 5 minutes away, and picked it up moments after it came out of the oven, it was not very hot when we arrived home. It was however quite tasty, although someone mentioned it had prosciutto ours (and the menu) had ham, good but not prosciutto. The only down side was the center tends to be a bit soggy. The next day several pieces were reheated in a 425 oven for a few minutes and was pretty good. A deninite place to return to, for now, it's our favorite pizza joint.

C&J
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The prosciutto issue was a small disappointment. The menu (as I recall) uses both "ham" and "prosciutto" in its copy in different spots. It occurred to me before ordering that either they were making a real distinction using different items on different pies, or that they were simply randomly translating "prosciutto" as "ham," or the reverse. Somewhat unfortunately, it turns out to be the reverse. I was mildly disappointed that my meat turned out to be standard ham.

However, as I mentioned, the pie cools fast because it's so thin, but it also revives very nicely virtually in seconds in a hot oven. If you order delivery and have your oven ready - especially if you have a stone - I think there would almost no loss in quality.
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I liked the homemadeness of this pizza's crust, much nicer than a local chain's Insta-Crust, but found the mozzarella seriously salty (on a cheese pizza; on one with lots of other stuff, it went unnoticed). Fact is, I'm sort of getting spoiled by Spacca Napoli et al. when it comes to using high grade fresh mozzarella; not that I expect every place to use that but I think Apart would do themselves a favor if they tasted some other options and arrived at something better, it just overpowered the pizza which, I agree, is a nice choice for neighborhood takeout.
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#18
Posted June 13th 2006, 10:25am
I believe that the prosciutto used on the capriciosa that I mentioned was "prosciutto cotto," which is more like what Americans might call City Ham, but still its own thing and not quite the same...

Mike, interesting about the salt. I find almost no food too salty, which I chalk up to growing up eating Cuban food: more salt, more fat, more garlic. A grilled slice of focaccia covered with salted anchovies is among my favorite summer snacks. But I can see your point, for sure.

JeffB (not a shill, and sincerely hoping that one dude is not actually affiliated with the restaurant)
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I have ordered carryout from Apart four times now and have enjoyed each pizza. So far I have tried the Diavola, the Calzone, the Apart and the Capriciosa. Liked the flavor combinations on all pizzas. I have noticed that the center gets extremely soggy (this on just a 5 minute walk from the oven to my home). Any suggestions on how to combat this or is it just a fact of life with pizza this thin?
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#20
Posted June 28th 2006, 10:26am
Daisy11 wrote:I have ordered carryout from Apart four times now and have enjoyed each pizza. So far I have tried the Diavola, the Calzone, the Apart and the Capriciosa. Liked the flavor combinations on all pizzas. I have noticed that the center gets extremely soggy (this on just a 5 minute walk from the oven to my home). Any suggestions on how to combat this or is it just a fact of life with pizza this thin?


Daisy,

Even straight out of the oven, Italian style pizzas typically have a soft centre -- it's part of the textural interest of the thing, as I see it. Of course, to Chicagoans used to crisp crusts it seems like a defect but it's not -- just a different way of doing things (though perhaps the take-out induced delay really increases the sogginess).

In this regard, see the discussion on the first and second pages of the Spacca Napoli thread.
http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=64730#64730

Antonius
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#21
Posted June 28th 2006, 10:32am
Thanks for the reply. I think the sogginess is also brought on by my tendency to choose pizza toppings that give off lots of moisture in the cooking process (e.g. mushrooms, bell peppers, artichokes, etc.). Even with the soft center, I really enjoy Apart's pizzas and have added them to my carry-out rotation.
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#22
Posted June 28th 2006, 11:00am
Daisy11 wrote:Thanks for the reply. I think the sogginess is also brought on by my tendency to choose pizza toppings that give off lots of moisture in the cooking process (e.g. mushrooms, bell peppers, artichokes, etc.). Even with the soft center, I really enjoy Apart's pizzas and have added them to my carry-out rotation.


I myself like the soft centre and would love to try Apart's pizza but, since it is a take-out only place as I understand it and I live relatively far away, I'm not sure how to work out the logistics. And I suspect the soggy aspect would really be an issue even for me (as well as coldness) if I tried to get one of their pies home.

:cry:

Antonius
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#23
Posted June 28th 2006, 11:07am
Antonius wrote:I myself like the soft centre and would love to try Apart's pizza but, since it is a take-out only place as I understand it and I live relatively far away, I'm not sure how to work out the logistics.


Antonius,

Mentioned up-thread, Welles park is right across the street and perfect for a pizza picnic.

Best,
Michael
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#24
Posted June 28th 2006, 11:35am
Antonius wrote:since it is a take-out only place as I understand it



Nope, they absolutely do deliver. Not only that, but they haven't applied a delivery charge the last two times I've ordered from them. (both of which were exceptional by the way.)
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Oh my..if this place is the real deal NY-style (as photos/reviews sugggest it may just be)..wow....this is a major day in my Chicago pizza life....and SO close to home.....I wonder if I can take off work early?
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I live near Clark & Ridge and called to see if they would deliver to me. No luck. They do not go north of Foster, FYI.
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Conditions today seemed perfect for a picnic in Welles Park centered on a Margherita pizza. Even with the fairly strong lake breeze, the 14-inch pizza stayed pretty warm to the end. We really liked this pizza with its soft center and crisp outer edge. There were only a few small grease spots on the bottom of the box, which was good because neither of us likes the heavy greasy style of pizza so common in Chicago.

The baseball diamonds generally have benches or bleachers, which are in full sun except for some benches at the diamond closest to Apart. We settled in on a bench just north of the horse shoe courts. These are at the southern edge of the park just east of Oakley. There are rows of benches along the north and south sides of the horse shoe courts. These are all well shaded. We picked the benches on the north to get a little more distance from traffic on Montrose.

Saturdays with childrens baseball would not be conducive to a quiet picnic. The Old Town School's Folk and Roots Festival this weekend will not be conducive to a pleasant picnic either although the people at Apart are hoping for a lot of added business.

Apart now has some lunch specials: (1) personal pizza (8 inch) and fountain drink for $4.50, (2) salad and fountain drink $5.50 and (3) personal pizza, salad and fountain drink $7.50.

There is a counter across the front with four high stools for eating in. There is no air conditioning, which might be a problem in different weather. They have some arrangement with the coffee shop in the next storefront to the west so pizza can be eaten there, but I am not clear on the mechanics.
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What is their delivery range? We're probably too far south. Spoon won't deliver to us, we're just N. of Armitage.
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leek wrote:What is their delivery range? We're probably too far south. Spoon won't deliver to us, we're just N. of Armitage.


They won't deliver to us Bucktowners-- I too am just north of Armitage 109 steps due north of the Map Room, to be exact ;)


...are you living in my basement, Leek?
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bananasandwiches wrote:I too am just north of Armitage 109 steps due north of the Map Room, to be exact ;)


...are you living in my basement, Leek?


Hah No, I'm a scootch further north than you are, but we should meet up at Map Room or The Charleston, or something :)
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