Grazie Woodfire Pizza e Ristorante
541 High St, Preston
Holy wow it’s December tomorrow. When the hell did that happen?! I feel like every year, once my birthday hits, the few weeks that follow leading up to Christmas absolutely fly; its been two weeks today since my birthday, and it feels like it’s only been a few days! To be fair, we’re also nice and organised this year – our Christmas gifts are already purchased, wrapped and under the tree (which we traditionally put up the day after my birthday, because why the hell not?), Christmas parties are starting to take over weekends, and the general holiday mayhem is in full swing. I feel like it started a little earlier this year; knowing that things were about to get crazy and after the unexpectedly massive weekend that preceded my birthday, I wanted nothing more on that Monday night than to sit at home on the couch in my PJs with my boys and relax with a few pizzas. Fancy pants birthday dinner. That’s how I roll.
I’m a little bit in love with the Menulog app in terms of how easy it makes it for me to be lazy when I so feel the urge. This is actually incredible rare; I grew up in a house where mum had a hot, fresh, home cooked meal on the table every single night. We got McDonald’s four times per year only (once each school holidays), and the only time we ever had take away pizza was at sleep overs or friends’ birthday parties. The idea of ordering take away on a Monday night instead of cooking a good dinner was as likely as Freddie Mercury strolling through the front door and cracking out a delicious rendition of Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy. Generations of good Italian women have ingrained in me that you buy fresh ingredients and cook dinner with them each night, and that’s that. So when I decided that I wanted take away pizza for dinner on my birthday, I felt like a cheeky child instead of a fully grown now 30 year old woman.
But I wasn’t going to be a complete disgrace and order anything too plebeian – it was my birthday, after all! I still wanted a good pizza, wood fired and thin crusted, not too oily or using crappy ingredients. Enter Grazie, opened only a few months ago in June, a welcome addition to the High Street pizza scene in Preston. A lot of the existing ones are same same kinda places – margherita, Hawaiian, capricciosa, meat lovers, vegetarian, and the “special.” There’s nothing exciting there. Grazie’s menu caught my eye immediately – prosciutto instead of just plain shredded ham, buffalo mozzarella instead of the regular supermarket stuff, grilled eggplant and fior di latte cheese and pancetta and artichokes – fantastic!
We ordered the margherita di bufala – napoli sauce base with buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato and fresh basil. This is one of the two benchmark pizzas against which all others should be measured – if you can’t get something so simple right, you shouldn’t be making pizza. They nailed it.
The other benchmark pizza for us is the prosciutto – this one came with fior di latte cheese, prosciutto di parma, basil pesto, fresh tomato, shaved parmesan and rocket. It also usually comes with a napoli sauce base, but we opted out of that, because it’s better without it. This was a really, really good pizza . They were clever enough to put the parmesan cheese and rocket in a separate tub when it was delivered so we could add it on when we received it, instead of getting half melted parmesan and wilted rocket, which was much appreciated! Quality prosciutto and plenty of it, too!
For a little neighbourhood pizza place, Grazie was such a pleasant surprise; the bases were deliciously light, and at the same time perfectly crisp underneath – no soggy bottoms. The ingredients were fresh and of great quality. They weren’t the slightest bit oily, which meant we weren’t heavy or sickening at all. The delivery was bang on time, and the prices are pretty reasonable considering just how good they are. If you live out in these parts, I’d really highly recommend jumping on Menulog tonight and ordering yourself a pizza for dinner. Go on, it’s Monday, no doubt the next few weeks are about to get hectic for you, too, and cooking dinner means you’ll just have to do dishes… be a little bit naughty (don’t tell mum) and treat yourself to a bit of a gourmet dinner tonight 😉