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Bigalora Cucina offers an heirloom tomato pie

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Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina, Royal Oak

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Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina, with locations in Ann Arbor, Royal Oak and Southfield, has created a delicious take on the classic heirloom tomato presentation, the salad, with its Heirloom Tomato Salad Pizza. The best of both salad and pizza worlds, this is a healthy choice that will satisfy your pizza craving, while still leaving you some room for Bigalora’s homemade gelato!

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My trip to Bigalora in Royal Oak started with a friendly greeting, quick seating, and some house made bread and olive oil. There’s a great vibe here, with lots of wood, steel, and exposed bricks, beams and ductwork. The open kitchen gives you a chance to see the cooks in action, as well as an appreciation for how quickly food moves out to restaurant guests.

Choosing from the list of small bites, I ordered the risotto balls, stuffed with saffron rice, mozzarella, peas and grass fed beef Bolognese, in a tangy marinara sauce. The contrast of the perfectly crunchy outside and the creamy richness inside was just what I needed for a great meal starter.

On to the main course.

Preparation for the Heirloom Tomato Salad Pizza begins with Bigalora’s signature Neapolitan-style crust that starts with a special biga starter that Chef Luciano Del Signore has been perfecting for more than five years. The crust is brushed with extra virgin olive oil, and topped with house blend mozzarella before taking a 90 second turn in Bigalora’s 900 degree ovens. Once finished, the perfectly charred crust is topped with heirloom tomatoes (tossed in Italian oregano and olive oil), fresh arugula, Sicilian oregano, and shaved Grana Padano (a Northern Italian cheese that’s slightly milder than Parmigiano-Reggiano).

The tomatoes are just delicious, with a fresh, naturally sweet, sun ripened flavor that you’d expect at Bigalora. The flavor profile of the pizza is right on, with a combination of textures and temperatures, that keep things interesting and delicious.

Bigalora’s food philosophy is simple: extremely high-quality, all natural ingredients and cuisine. With pizzas at the forefront, Bigalora’s menu is complemented by pastas, salads, small plates, and desserts, as well as a focused craft beer program featuring several outstanding brews made in Michigan.

You can find Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina in Royal Oak, Southfield and Ann Arbor. Get more information on their website, as well as Facebook and Twitter. There’s even a Bigalora app in the itunes store!

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