Aug 052016

Antoine Wiley


Located by the parking lot behind the Dukes County Courthouse in Edgartown, the Isola Pizzeria is a hidden gem with some of the island’s best pies waiting for you. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the lot just behind the Isola Restaurant, IP features a very pleasant outdoor seating area with flowering bushes, flowerpots overflowing with brilliant colors, and strings of elegant, overhead lights.

Inside, the décor leaves little to the imagination: with multiple stacks of white pizza boxes holding pride of place and proclaiming that great pies are the raison d’etre of this casual eatery. The inside is great, but the outside tables are definitely the way to go in nice weather. Take-out is another popular choice and a pick-up window off the patio makes it easy to swing by and snag your food.

On the menu at IP are the usual pizza joint suspects: pies, salads, pasta dinners and sandwiches.   But the pies offer original and exciting combinations of gourmet ingredients and the other menu items no doubt meet higher-than-normal expectations, given the parlour’s ties to the renowned Isola Restaurant. It was therefore tempting to order the very reasonably priced dinners, such as the Eggplant Parmigiana and the lasagna, but no responsible reviewer could avoid the main event: pizza pie. Even so, I ended up requesting a split pie in order to sample more than just one of the intriguing topping medleys.

The star of any pizzeria is, of course, the pizza. And the pizza in IP is mind-blowingly good. Chef Egor Noeic carefully prepares each pie, hand-tossing the dough and putting each pizza together using techniques he learned shadowing master pizza makers. When asked what distinguishes IP from other island pizzerias, he points to IP’s large selection of pies, and notes that while most places use a pan to stretch dough, he expertly tosses it. “The pie itself is just really good,” says the self-taught pizza master.

One half of my pizza was the prosciutto pie, an oil-based work of art consisting of prosciutto, roasted tomato, red onion, and a sea of baby arugula dappled with balsamic vinegar; it is a must-order item that slays everyone who tries it.   Think of a delicious leafy salad over generous strips of exsquisite prosciutto resting on a bed of delightfully crisp crust. This pie produced a scrumptious and happy symphony of textures, colors, and flavors.

The other half of my pie was called “the herbivore.” True to its name, this was a tomato sauce-based cheese pizza embedded with broccoli, onion, mushroom, green pepper, tomato, and black olive. While not in my opinion as good as the gold-medal prosciutto that shared the same crust, it was nonetheless a great contender, especially considering the healthier toppings that make it a clear favorite for some patrons.

In addition to the pizza, I tried the meatball sandwich, which boasts home-made meatballs created by Chef Noeic, provolone cheese and fresh tomato sauce, all cradled in a freshly-baked Italian sub roll, toasted to a lovely golden hue. For those with heartier appetites, this combination hits the spot and sticks to your ribs.

In a (pine)nutshell, Isola Pizzeria is an authentic artisan pizzeria with friendly, expert service, a welcoming and pleasant atmosphere, and beautifully-crafted pies that will make your day.

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