“Three different kinds of mozzarella?”
“All glasses of wine are only five bucks tonight?”
“Bruschetta with Humboldt Fog goat cheese, lavender honey and caramelized onions…”
“Crispy artichokes with lemon aioli?”
These confused—but elated—exclamations from my friends continued for the first five minutes or so after we sat down at Sono Wood Fired, choosing a table near the back of the super-simple, brick-walled room for the warmth of the gleaming, namesake hearth. Sono is a pizzeria, and yet no one was getting excited about the pies. And as it turns out, that instinct is spot-on, as the main event was ultimately the most forgettable thing we ate. Vaguely Neapolitan in form but not so much in flavor, the dough was missing the slight tang, the chew and the good dose of salt I’ve come to love at other successful wood-oven pizzerias around town. The crust was almost crumbly in texture, somehow a bit grainy, with nothing very distinct about it. Thinly sliced rosemary-laced potatoes on the Sardinia pie were both flabby and fairly raw (not a good combination when layered onto another starch); hunks of fennel-flecked Italian sausage and roasted red peppers fared better as toppings, but the tomato sauce slathered beneath them lacked punch and depth, just lying there like sad stuff poured from a jar.
Still, that trio of mozz we started with was a more-than-generous portion of tangy slices made from buffalo milk, cubes of decent fior di latte and a fist-sized knot of burrata oozing with cream. Alternating swigs of wine (from a respectably interesting list, no less) with bites of the cool cheeses, a beautifully bright eggplant caponata and feathery, perfectly fried artichoke leaves, we realized Sono might in fact have something to offer—it’s just not pizza.