First Taste

Best pizza in Houston? Add Pizzeria Solario to the list of candidates

Best pizza in Houston? Add Pizzeria Solario to the list of candidates

Ruthie Pizzeria Solario April 2013 Carne Pizza
Our pizza pick: The Carne topped with bacon, Italian sausage, speck and soppressata. Photo by Ruthie Miller
Ruthie Pizzeria Solario April 2013 Fungo Pizza
The Fungo pizza is full of beautifully roasted mushrooms and thyme.  Photo by Ruthie Miller
Ruthie Pizzeria Solario April 2013 Caesar Salad
The simple Caesar at Pizzeria Solario features a deliciously nontraditional dressing. Photo by Ruthie Miller
Ruthie Pizzeria Solario April 2013 Carne Pizza
Ruthie Pizzeria Solario April 2013 Fungo Pizza
Ruthie Pizzeria Solario April 2013 Caesar Salad

Just a few years ago it seemed that Houston suffered from a strange dearth of solid pizza options. We’ve consistently been able to rely on Dolce Vita, but only recently have we welcomed places like Piola, Provisions, Coppa, and Pizaro’s to the mix.

And now, thankfully, we can add Pizzeria Solario to that list. Solario is a new shop on Weslayan near Richmond offering Neapolitan pizzas and a smattering of other options (like salads, coffees, and snacks). The restaurant holds about 30 seats, but diners can spill out onto the sidewalk-patio, where there are tables and chairs set up under the palm tree crowns.

Pizzeria Solario offers coffee and pastries for the breakfast hours, plus a full menu at lunch and dinner.

The Caesar salad arrives simple: just a small plate of lettuces and shaved Parmesan, with easily pick-off-able anchovies swimming atop. The house-made dressing was lighter and less creamy than traditional versions; it was something just a bit unique, and we enjoyed it.

 I hope Solario comes up with a lunch special, as our salad + two pizzas ran a bit high for the mid-day meal, but the place would make for a lovely casual date. 

Pizzas are of the thin, Neapolitan variety, assembled upon order and baked up in a wood-fire oven that adorns the front of the restaurant.

While I normally don’t gravitate toward meat-heavy pizzas, the Carne with bacon, Italian sausage, speck, and soppressata was excellent. The meat was plentiful, but not overwhelming, and it complemented the light tomato sauce and pockets of Mozzarella well. The crust is sturdy with a nice char. At first I enjoyed the abundant flecks of sea salt embellishing the bubbly crust, but they quickly became too much... A forgivable sin, at least.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed our other pizza — the Fungo — more had I tried it first. The Fungo features beautifully roasted mushrooms and thyme with Fontina and Provalone. This pizza certainly met a standard, but seemed less impressive after the flavor-filled Carne. Sure, the simplicity was nice, but it lost a little something in an abundance of cheese.

Most pizzas are $13-$17. They serve one person generously, or two people would do well to split a large salad and a pizza among them. I hope Solario comes up with a lunch special, as our salad + two pizzas ran a bit high for the mid-day meal, but the place would make for a lovely casual date.

Wine and coffee options are plentiful, and there you are a scant block from the movie theater.

At the very least, it’s wonderful to have another decent pizza option in town. It may not unseat your favorite, but it’s a worthy addition to your regular rotation.