Does Piaci Make the North Coast’s Best Pizza?

Among the long line of P-words in which one can indulge while on the North Coast, “pizza” might not be the first to pop up. Sure there are fields of pennyroyal surrounding rows of pinot and pockets of pot plants. In Fort Bragg you’ll also find pilsner-a-plenty at the North Coast Brewing Co., (whose Scrimshaw is the perfect pairing for our next P-word). Just down the block from the brewery is Piaci Pub & Pizzeria, and perfectly prepared paisan-worthy pizza.

Inventive and interesting but never precocious (banish all thoughts of hideous California pizza-style monstrosities from your mind) these pies please. The house pie, The Piaci, comes topped with pine nuts, herbs, a tangy tomato sauce and oozing mozzarella and gorgonzola. The gorgonzola makes itself known but doesn’t overpower the more delicate herbs. This is pizza at peace with itself.

The more simple Sophia, topped with pesto, mozzarella and herbs, highlights the fresh high-quality ingredients with less histrionics than some of the more elaborate specialty pies. And the Gustoso, with pesto, chèvre, seasonal pears, herbs and prosciutto blends complex flavors without coming off as twee.

The tasty toppings are clearly the stars of the satisfying discs served up at Piaci, but if there’s one complaint we have it’s with the crust. It’s a bit dull and dense and a shade thicker than we’d like. Give us a lighter, crisper dough and we’d be in pizza paradise.