Queen Margherita, a Neapolitan pizzeria in Magnolia, presents some creative pies.
Queen Margherita, the boutique Neapolitan pizzeria in Magnolia, has the trappings of an upscale hangout for the upscale neighborhood. At the center of the open kitchen is a wood-fired oven imported from Naples, and reclaimed artisan light fixtures glow over a colonnaded archway hunkered in the dining area.
The pizza — gourmet fixings on quick-cooked thin crust — reflects the ambition. Think: truffle oil, dates and Italian speck prosciutto as toppings.
The prices reflect ambition, too, but the pies rival any in the city’s booming Neapolitan pizzerias.
The menu: Queen Margherita does not skimp on portions. The small mista salad ($7), which had walnut-size chunks of Gorgonzola, fed two. The pizzas, designed to feed one hungry diner, were big and loaded enough to result in leftovers. For kids, there are bambino pies ($6 for cheese, $7 with pepperoni).
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What to write home about: The Dattero pizza ($16) featured dates crisped in the oven, giving the caramelly sweetness a pleasing texture. Add balsamic reduction and Gorgonzola and the pie was sublime. The Funghi ($14) was dotted with button and portobello mushrooms, and with the added option of speck and buffalo mozzarella ($3), it amounted to a food adventure.
What to skip: The olive-plate appetizer ($7) was accompanied by olive oil lightly flavored with chili oil. Delicious, but it came with a skimpy serving of crusty bread.
The setting: Queen Margherita is an elegantly designed but friendly space, with a roll-up garage door, easy parking and a long counter that was populated during a recent visit by a pair of kindergarten-age girls munching pizza below a flat-screen TV. But to qualify as a kid-friendly joint in a neighborhood full of families, the server shouldn’t have to be asked twice to bring crayons and dough for my children.
Summing up: Without alcohol or tip, dinner for two — two pizzas, a salad and appetizer — came to $55, with ample leftovers.
Jonathan Martin: 206-464-2605 or firstname.lastname@example.org.