Beer and pizza are ideal partners.
Beer’s effervescence lightens the heaviness of a pizza, while its acidity and bitterness act as a palate cleanser between bites.
Restoration Pizza, a venture from Bosque Brewing Co. that opened last month next to Cabela’s at Interstate 25 and Paseo del Norte, is a temple to this pairing. According to Restoration Pizza’s website, the name alludes to a belief in restoring what is good in the community. Restoration honors that ideal by hiring a significant proportion of differently abled workers.
The cavernous, rectangular room is almost full on a Saturday night, with a conspicuous number of families. It’s loud: The conversation drowns out all but the bass lines of the songs playing in the background. The tables and booths are spread out enough that you don’t feel hemmed in.
Restoration’s one-page menu is tightly focused on pizza, but there are some interesting starters and salads to consider. Antipasti ($9), the usual assortment of vegetables, cold cuts and mozzarella, is served on three skewers. It’s an inventive presentation but one that feels somewhat counterproductive when you end up taking everything off the skewer to eat it. Balsamic glaze brings sharpness, and chopped basil adds a refreshing, slightly mint flavor. It works well as a stand-alone dish or as a start to a meal, especially when paired with Jetty Jack, Bosque’s amber ale.
If you believe as I do in the virtues of salad as a safeguard against overindulging on pizza, the Restoration ($7.25/$9.25) is a great option. The bright reds and greens piled on a metal tray include broccoli, tomatoes and roasted red peppers. Dried cranberries and candied pecans help spell the tartness of the goat cheese and dressing. The small salad is plenty for two to share.
The pizzas, available in 12- and 16-inch sizes, run the gamut from build-your-own options to gourmet signature pizzas that carry a heftier price tag. The Classic Cheese ($11/$13), made with red sauce and mozzarella, presents a solid Neapolitan-style pie with near-perfect crust thickness and a good balance of sauce and cheese. The dough preparation might need some work, though, as the crust has too many bubbles and is a little soggy in the center.
Among the signature gourmet options are pizzas featuring bacon, sausage or meatballs. The pesto-based Roadrunner ($21.75/$24.75) is a lighter option that showcases the lovely colors of the peppers and basil and the familiar, garlicky flavor profile of the pesto. It’s tasty and filling, but the price is steep.
Restoration has a thoughtful selection of eight staple beers that range from the darker, heavier winter brews to lighter summer varieties. You can get them in 11-, 16- or 20-ounce pours. The Bosque lager, a light, German-inspired Pilsner with slightly bitter finish, goes particularly well with pizza.
Servers clad in black Bosque Brewing T-shirts circulate through the space, never out of hailing distance. When a kid at the next table sent a cup of ice water crashing to the floor, three staffers descended on the scene like an elite hazmat team and quickly cleaned up the mess.
Just in time for summer, Restoration Pizza is settling into its space, where it will provide a good vantage point from which to watch the sun go down and enjoy a classic culinary combination.