Neither my wife or I particularly enjoy cooking on a Friday evening so, we decided to finally make our way out to Kirtland to visit Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria. What intrigued me most about Biga was their style of pizza. To give you a little more background here is what Biga has to say: “Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria specializes in the authentic Naples-style (“Napoletana”) pizza pie prepared and cooked just as it was 168 years ago in a wood-fired hearth oven at over 900° F. Our mission is to provide our guests authentic Napoletana pizza, house-made seasonal tasting dishes, fresh salads, and unique desserts using only the finest fresh ingredients, cooked using time-honored traditions and served in a warm, inviting atmosphere.”
As we walked in at 6:00 pm on a Friday evening we walked into a half full restaurant. The only problem was that we were told those tables were reserved and we couldn’t get seated until 7:45 pm! One of the owners came up to the front of the small restaurant and asked how we were doing. I said we didn’t have a reservation and she immediately jumped into action and moved a few tables to make room for us. The customer service was already off to a great start. That being said, be sure to secure a reservation because from what we heard, Biga is pretty busy all of the time!
To start our meal we decided to split one of the special salads for the evening. It consisted of pickled carrots, pickled onions, pistachios, beets, blue cheese and a light vinaigrette. As you can see in the picture, the salad portion was gigantic, clearly enough for two people who plan to eat pizza too! We loved everything about this salad, especially the balance of the light dressing and equal amounts of ingredients to go with the great amount of lettuce. I really liked how they incorporated two different kinds of beets in the salad because they each gave a different textural element to go along with the crunchy pistachios and the soft carrots and onions.
Pizza wise you have your work cut out for you making a choice of what to eat! They had 13 different pizzas on the menu, all of which sounded fantastic. We compromised on the Sweet Sausage Pizza, $15. It came topped with freshly crafted-in-house sweet sausage, locally grown oregano, tomato, and fresh mozzarella cheese. The crust on this pie was cooked to perfection. The crispy, but not overcooked crust held up wonderfully to the ingredients on top. Speaking of those ingredients, the sweet sausage was also outstanding. Every bite that we had with it was well balanced and delicious. The light spread of sauce and the incorporation of the fresh mozzarella didn’t overpower the flavor of the crust or the sausage. If we had one small complaint about this tasty pizza, we both were looking for a bit more seasoning with sea salt. If you didn’t get a bite of sausage and/or mozzarella, the presence of seasoning was somewhat lacking.
Something we didn’t know until the end of our meal is that Biga has one heck of a dessert offering! If you like fresh homemade cakes and pies (who doesn’t?), save some room because what we saw was big and looked delicious!
Biga is a BYOB establishment, so your wine and beer choices are unlimited. Just know they do charge a $2.00 glass fee.
Atmosphere and Service
Biga is a very small restaurant with a cozy but vibrant atmosphere. From every seat in the house you have a view of kitchen and the wood fire stove. From start to finish, we had wonderful service. The owner, who seated us and then said a friendly goodbye, should be commended. Keeping customers happy should be the #1 goal of the front of the house, and she clearly understands that! Our waitress was also very friendly and helpful when we had some questions about the specials and pizzas. Overall, we have to give Biga a thumbs up. We will surely be back with a few craft beers and to try a few more pizzas.