Pizza place: LaBella Pizza Bistro · 194 Main Street, New Paltz · www.LaBellaPizzaBistro.com · 845/255-2633
Ordered by: phone
Promised delivery time: 30-35 minutes
Actual delivery time: 28 minutes
Pizza ordered: eggplant
Other food: order of garlic knots
Meal price: $19.86
Now that La Bella Pizza Bistro is trumpeting being named best pizza of the Hudson Valley, it was high time for the pizza posse to put their pie to the palate. The order started out on the wrong foot, but the LaBella crew rolled with it and came up with an excellent pie that was delivered just about when promised. The order was placed at exactly 5PM on a Saturday, and the time of 30-35 minutes came with a codicil: "Our driver isn't in yet, and he's got a lot of orders backed up already."
"But you're pretty sure we can expect this in 30-35 minutes? It's okay if you think it will take longer."
"No," he said, "that oughta be right," dismissing an extra chance to revise the promised time. He was on the money, because the delivery arrived two minutes earlier than his best guess.
Pizza review: Lessons learned from Village Pizza and Gourmet Pizza show that a pizza which arrives too soon is often out of the oven too soon. In this case, two minutes early did not mean two minutes underdone. Unlike Fat Bob's, LaBella's eggplant is cut into bite-sized squares and breaded. This did not lead to a greasy pie, and the breading didn't completely hide the eggplant's mild flavor. Each slice was strong enough to hold its own when held up, but not so stiff that it resisted folding until it broke. The cheeses and sauce added the right amount of chewiness and tang to the pizza.
Other food review: LaBella makes a large garlic knot, but not one that's particularly garlicky. Although fresh, the knots really didn't have much flavor.
The pizza and its delivery both were excellent from LaBella. Although the knots were nothing to write home about, they are not included in the number of stars regardless. Not every pizza place makes knots (or any other single side dish that the pizza posse all enjoys), so side dish reviews are for information only.
Considering only the pizza, LaBella rises to the top this season and earns itself five stars.