Ask a non-native what comes to his or her head when he or she thinks of Chicago, and one of the answers often is deep dish pizza. Chicagoans certainly have had their fair share of deep dish pizza throughout the years, but they would also attest that this town is becoming quite the hotspot for wood-fired, Italian/Neopolitan pizza. The other night I checked out Evanston's Union Pizzeria and had its wood-fired, thin crust pizza.
Union Pizzeria is a popular hangout in Evanston, as was evidenced by the burgeoning crowd at 6 pm. The clientele are eclectic even though the restaurant's decor skews to the young and hip. There's a mix of couches, tables, and a long booth that stretches all the way down one side of the building with tables and chairs facing it. I wasn't a big fan of how this setting lent itself to be so intimate with the other patrons.
The eatery boats a "union of big tastes, small plates, and great music," which partially explains why this pizzeria is serving octopus as an appetizer. There's an extensive wine and beer list that is complementary to its assortment of entrees.
I ordered the prosciutto and arugula pizza. The pizza was blanketed with a shocking amount of arugula--it was pretty much a sea of green. I quickly learned there was no cause for concern; the arugula in no way overpowered the delicate balance of the other ingredients. The prosciutto was perfection; it was paired perfectly with a harmonious blend of cheese and sauce. The crust was most noteworthy to me. It was neither too crispy nor too chewy and perhaps has the wood-fire to thank for that.
Union Pizzeria is located at 1245 Chicago Avenue in Evanton. Its pizzas average around $15, and one pizza is meant to feed one person. Union Pizzeria offers well-crafted pizzas with fresh ingredients and a fairly fresh scene too.