Tivoli’s Pizzeria makes one EXCEPTIONAL pizza pie! I found that out on a Tuesday night in late October, when I met a friend at the Utica-based pizzeria.
Tivoli’s is bringing the ambiance, too. I’d admittedly expected a no-frills interior from this restaurant that’s been around since the mid-’70s. Instead, I walked into a cozy brick-walled dining area decorated with vintage movie posters, black-and-white photos, and glitzy chandeliers. Our table was near the wood-fired pizza oven, a driving force behind Tivoli’s delicious pies.
Pizza is of course the focus of Tivoli’s menu, but it showcases much more than that. There are appetizers such as Bruschetta Caprese and focaccia bread stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and oregano. There are salads, including the classic Antipasto, and sandwiches such as the Meatball Parmigiano and Super Club. Dessert means cannolis and the glorious-sounding Nutella Pizza topped with chocolate-hazelnut spread, powdered sugar, and strawberries or bananas. Beer, wine, Italian sodas, and espresso drinks are also available.
From the non-pizza section of that menu, I chose the House Salad (sans mushrooms). It was loaded with fresh and flavorful ingredients: mixed greens tossed with tomato, red onion, roasted red pepper, green olives, and a house-made Italian vinaigrette.
Pondering the pizza offerings was a more laborious task. Tivoli’s offers many enticing options, from the iconic Margherita to the Pig & Pineapple (featuring both bacon and ham for the pig component) to the Sfiziosa topped with arugula, ham, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pizzas are available as wood-fired rounds (12-inch size only); Chicago-style; squares; and as what Tivoli’s characterizes as the New York Round.
Ultimately, it was the Lorenzo Special wood-fired pie that won out for my friend and me. Slathered with pesto, topped with grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, it was an absolute DREAM! Irresistibly rich and brimming with flavor, it was the kind of pizza pie I could sit and eat slice after slice of – until the entire thing was gone.
I reined myself in that night at Tivoli’s, though. There were leftover slices of that Lorenzo Special, which my friend graciously offered to me. Lucky me: I was able to enjoy Tivoli’s for another day!
45257 Van Dyke Ave.
Utica, MI 48317