Last week, my wonderful friend, Ed, and I went out for a belated birthday celebration. (She had been in Russia for my actual birthday!) After careful consideration, we went to Biga Pizza, a local artisan pizza joint that serves not only amazing pizzas but also salads, sandwiches, calzones, and -- the deciding factor for me this time around -- desserts. I had been craving pavlova, a meringue-like dessert that I first had when I spent a semester of my junior year of college in New Zealand, and Biga Pizza just happens to make pavlova. Add to that the fact that they also have a roasted portabella mushroom salad on their menu, and I was sold.
So that's where Ed and I headed. I ordered the portabella mushroom salad, which came with a rich and delicious helping of herbed goat cheese as well as balsamic-glazed walnuts. Ed had a mixed greens salad complete with pears, candied pecans, and gorgonzola. Her salad looked good, and mine tasted amazing. The salads both came with crunchy slices of crostini, which really added something special.
But really, I was in it for the dessert. We both ordered a hazelnut pavlova, to our waitress's amazement. I don't think she really believed that we would be able to polish the desserts off, but she grossly underestimated the combined powers of our sweet teeth. The pavlova came with strawberries, drizzles of chocolate sauce, fruit compote, whipped cream, and a scoop Big Dipper vanilla bean ice cream. It was quite the finale to our meal, but delicious and well worth the splurge. My only criticism was that I wish the pavlova could have been a little less crispy on the outside. However, as Ed pointed out, our molars would not have appreciated a whole chewy meringue. We probably would have unstuck some fillings if it had been of my preferred consistency throughout!
All in all, Biga Pizza served us well. The salads were just the right size, nutritious, and tasty to boot! The entire meal, in fact, was not overly heavy or large. I hate leaving a restaurant feeling like my stomach is filled with leading, and this time around, I didn't! The best part of our evening, however, was the opportunity to share a special meal with a special lady.