Tuesday, January 06, 2009

dazzo's italian castle

Today I went to a castle- a castle where Pizza is King, Pasta is his Queen, and various noble sauces and processed meat products hold court. Calamari frolic on lawns of sauteed vegetables and the pungent scent of garlic prevails.


Well, not so much a castle as downtown's newest pizza place. Located on Gay Street's ugliest block (thanks to huge unnecessary parking lot across the street) just up from the Mirage hookah bar, Dazzo's "Italian Castle Pizzeria" is the latest eatery to pop up in Downtown. As we all know, there can never be enough Italian joints in a city. Joining Da Vinci's of the Old City (which sadly hasn't been reviewed on this blog yet) now we have a second place in this city to get a cheap slice.

The inside is nice, if sparse (most of it left over from the space's previous restaurant) and had a black and white tile 'D' at the counter, letting you know Dazzo himself approves. In fact, I think it was probably Dazzo I saw back by the oven working his magic. The interior doesn't mean much in mid-level Italian restaurants, though. As anyone familiar with northern cities can tell you, the tackier the restaurant, the better the chance the food will be mind-blowing.


When I spotted the above at my table, I knew things would be alright. Three shakers greeted me: salt? check. pepper? check. garlic? yes! Anywhere that treats garlic as a condiment has my vote. I only wanted a slice, and judging from the menu there are quite a few types they'll bake from scratch for you, even if you aren't getting a whole pizza. I went with sausage, which I feel is a good barometer for Italian food. I wasn't disappointed:


That's not Jimmy Dean sausage, folks. That's real Italian sausage sliced thin like pepperoni. Yes! Not very healthy, but delicious. The crust was very tasty, very thin New York style that is not often seen in the South. While Dazzo hangs his hat on his pizza, the menu had quite a lot of other stuff, including Italian seafood dishes. I think I may try a pasta dish next time, because I am indeed going back to Dazzo's.

Dazzo's Italian Castle Pizzeria
710 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN
37902


Rating: 8 out of 10 Wigs

14 comments:

Lucas said...

looks really good. i'll do a quick review of davinci's for you: hmmmmmmm 3 out of 10.

The Modern Gal said...

Sounds magical. Sign me up.

Mickey said...

That does look like good sausage. Sold.

Kevin said...

I second the deliciousness of the sausage. It's quite tasty.

groovecrunch said...

I went today, based on this review. I got the review from the EnjoyKnox Twitter link. Props to them for hyping your website, and props to you for hyping Dazzo's.

I went with a friend, and we got the 'Grandma' pizza and the calamari appetizer. It was delicious (and crowded @ 1pm).

I told Dazzo that we came to his restaurant based on your review. He was pleased to hear, and asked for the website. I am e-mailing him the link right now.

Thanks!

Tracy said...

Thanks so much for the review. I'm an ex-New Yorker and I really miss NY pizza. I've already informed hubby that he's taking me there next week :)

Anonymous said...

Although I am Italian, and the picture of the pizza looks great, you better check out his score the health department gave him. 67 is not too impressive.

em said...

We ate there last night. The sauce was pretty good. The service was preeeeetty bad. I always want small and privately owned businesses to succeed, so I hope this place gives their servers and register staff a course on manners and timeliness. If you work in a restaurant, you should never, ever chew gum.

tonynknox said...

According to the Health Department's website (http://tn.state.gegov.com/tennessee/search.cfm?i=1127880), they recieved a score of 85 on 1/5/09.

Anonymous said...

I work in two resturants downtown and it is a known fact that the health department will deduct points based on little things, like not having plates turned upside down, or not hanging a broom and dustpan. So don't look too much into the 85% they recieved, for being brand new, that is actually pretty good.

ps... i eat there all the time, the food is AMAZING.

mhd said...

Heading downtown for dinner is not the norm for me, but I'm willing to change that, as long as Dazzo's is on Gay Street. The pizza, both regular and sicilian, is GREAT! As a recent transplant from NY (NYC and L.I.), I was really missing NY pizza. If I closed my eyes while enjoying a slice of Dazzo's pizza, I could easily imagine I was back in my favorite pizzeria in Queens. YUMM!

max. said...

I haven't been there but it was packed when I drove by at lunch today. The front door as open. I'm going soon.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from Dazzo's and it wasn't just good...it was GREAT! I moved here from NJ last year and have been on a quest to find AUTHENTIC Italian food. This place can give any NJ and NY restaurant a run for their money. EXCELLENT!!!!

Jennifer said...

Dazzo's is an inviting restaurant for any age group. The pizza is fantastic and the service is always prompt. The owner will create any pizza the client requests. I would ask for his opinion on your choice, it is always an honest answer. Go eat there!! You will not be sorry!