I’m always on the look out for great pizza and Michael’s Pizzeria in Long Beach has long been on my radar, but I’d never had the chance to visit. Recently, I came with my son for dinner and found the restaurant really delightful and filled with my favorite color, orange.
I was really surprised to find a full menu here since I had always thought it was predominantly a pizza place. Seeing all these items made me want to eat so many things and I was glad I had my hungry teenager with me.
We started with Insalata di Finocchi ($9) a shaved fennel, confit artichokes, goat cheese, pine nuts and arugula salad. I love fennel so I absolutely loved it. The salad was dressed lightly with olive oil and possibly a touch of lemon juice which is always welcoming. I dislike salads with too much dressing or, with chunky dressing weighing down the star on the plate.
Anatra ($15) was eagerly relished by my son. Confit duck roasted in the wood fire oven with farro and figs was just delectable. The duck was incredibly tender, falling off the bone with barely a touch of the fork. The farro provided a nutty flavor with perfect contrasting textures, and the figs added a touch of sweetness. This was seriously good! My son wanted more, but alas, I was not able to indulge him since we had more food coming.
I was excited to try the pizzas here so we decided on Prosciutto e Arugula ($16), two of my son’s favorite items together on the pie. The thin crust pizza was a tad too wet from the tomato and mozzarella, but the flavors were perfect. The salty Parma prosciutto married together very well with the fresh arugula for a lovely tasting pizza.
The Salsiccia e Papini ($15) was my pick. Smoked mozzarella, sausage and rapini brought mouthful after mouthful of pleasure. The smoked mozzarella was outstanding. I loved the light smokiness with the great saltiness — yes I love salt — and a burst of the slight crunch from the rapini. This is going to be my pizza when I return again (my son’s been bugging me already to go back)!
I wanted to try the Calzone Classico ($13) because I generally am not a fan due to the thickness of the crust. This was nothing like the ones I’ve encountered in the past. The lightness of the crust folded over the melting ricotta, mozzarella and prosciutto cotto. Topped with tomato and a little sprinkle of cheese, this is the best calzone I’ve ever had in California!
We didn’t finish the pizzas obviously because not only did I want something to savor the following day, but I also wanted to try some of the desserts on the menu. I’m not a sweets fan, but Affogato ($7) is something I can never resist. Two scoops of hazelnut gelato with a shot of espresso — I go mine decaf — was a perfect finish. Even my son was hooked!
But that wasn’t all. When I heard they made the crunchy shell of the Cannoli ($7) in house, I needed to try it. Filled with ricotta cream and chocolate chips, the only other cannoli I’ve ever had which tasted this good was in Italy! The shell was delicate and each bite just crumbled in my mouth. The filling had only a hint of sweetness which highly appealed to me!
I’m looking forward to my next visit here. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make it there, but you can bet both my son and I are anticipating it with bated breath!
5616 East 2nd
Long Beach, CA 90803